Journal Article

Phases of school health promotion implementation through the lens of complexity theory: lessons learnt from an Austrian case study

W. Kremser

in Health Promotion International

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 136-147
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online October 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daq063
Phases of school health promotion implementation through the lens of complexity theory: lessons learnt from an Austrian case study

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The implementation of health promotion concepts in (school) settings is a complex undertaking on which little scientific knowledge exists. The purpose of this study was to better understand organizational influences on the implementation of school health promotion. An extended case study design that incorporated important insights from complexity science was used. This design influenced the focus of analysis and led to the use of multiple methods of data collection and analysis. A primary school in Vienna served as a case for observing and analysing the first year of implementing the health-promoting school concept. The study provided detailed insights into the implementation process. Results showed four chronologically overlapping implementation phases (starting health promotion, deciding what to do, planning health promotion projects, doing health promotion) on different system levels. In each phase, the original health-promoting school concept was adapted to the necessities and characteristics of each level and, therefore, changed considerably. Implications for possible adaptations of the health-promoting school concept to better fit the situation in schools are discussed.

Keywords: school health promotion; complexity theory; implementation research; qualitative case study

Journal Article.  6887 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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