Qualitative evaluation of a school intervention for the promotion of physical activity: learning from the perspective of the target population


  • Vicente Javier Beltrán-Carrillo Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche.
  • Roberto Ferriz
  • David H. K. Brown
  • David González-Cutre Coll


Qualitative evaluations of school-based interventions for physical activity promotion are seldom undertaken, but can provide important insights into unforeseen limitations and consequences of interventions. These understandings can help the refinement of those aspects of school intervention implementation that are not easily identified a priori via quantitative evaluations. We illustrate this argument with the example of evaluative qualitative data collected during a physical activity promotion intervention that we carried out in two Spanish primary schools. The findings of this study uncovered a number of unexpected and difficult to quantify problem areas including; communication problems with parents, classroom-based interventions as off-putting, the legitimization of stereotypical health and body shape associations and even instances of marginalization of some of the very children the interventions were targeting. In conclusion we call for researchers to consider drawing on qualitative evaluations in order to aid the refinement of future school-based interventions.


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