ANS professor featured in Center for Implementation’s monthly bulletin

Oct 13, 2022 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Faculty/Staff, General News, Partnerships, Research, Research and Development

Recently, a publication written by Dr. Julie Rutledge, Professor of Human Development and Family Science and Director of the ENRICH Center, was featured in the September issue of Implementation in Action, the Center for Implementation’s monthly bulletin. 

Rutledge, along with co-authors from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, discussed how partner groups can sustain research programs in a peer review article titled, “Implementation attitudes, fidelity, and adaptations: A novel approach to classifying implementer behavior.” 

This peer review focused on a small-scale implementation trial was conducted in 38 early care and education classrooms that were part of the Together, We Inspire Smart Eating (WISE) program. This program focuses on four evidence-based practices that are implemented by teachers to promote nutrition, such as repeated hands-on exposure to target foods. 

Throughout the trial, objective measures such as classroom observations and subjective measures like self-report on attitude were used to determine how closely teachers implemented the program in the classroom compared to how they were trained, attitudes toward the program, and influence in their early care and education centers. The group called this a Fidelity, Attitude, and Influence Typology (FAIT).

Rutledge said determining their typology (FAIT) allows the research team to individualize the kind of support that is provided to meet the people who are implementing where they are and provide the help that may be needed to be successful doing the program and continue implementing it long-term. 

Applying this implementation typology can help to identify the barriers that may discourage the sustainability of a project which can bridge the gap between the real world and researchers. 

“The mission of this project, for us, is to understand how we can help teachers implement programs based on their response,” Rutledge said. “If there are barriers found within these categories then we can work to provide a different approach or new perspective to the implementation of the program. And, this typology system can be applied to numerous projects to help intervention researchers work collaboratively with community partners to increase the success of their programs.”