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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Mixed method evaluation of a community-based physical activity program using the RE-AIM framework: Practical application in a real-world setting

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Harriet Koorts, Fiona Gillison
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2466-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

HK led the design, implementation and interpretation of this research as part of her Doctoral degree. FG made substantial contributions to framing the manuscript and revising it for intellectual content. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Communities are a pivotal setting in which to promote increases in child and adolescent physical activity behaviours. Interventions implemented in these settings require effective evaluation to facilitate translation of findings to wider settings. The aims of this paper are to i) present findings from a RE-AIM evaluation of a community-based physical activity program, and ii) review the methodological challenges faced when applying RE-AIM in practice.


A single mixed-methods case study was conducted based on a concurrent triangulation design. Five sources of data were collected via interviews, questionnaires, archival records, documentation and field notes. Evidence was triangulated within RE-AIM to assess individual and organisational-level program outcomes.


Inconsistent availability of data and a lack of robust reporting challenged assessment of all five dimensions. Reach, Implementation and setting-level Adoption were less successful, Effectiveness and Maintenance at an individual and organisational level were moderately successful. Only community-level Adoption was highly successful, reflecting the key program goal to provide community-wide participation in sport and physical activity.


This research highlighted important methodological constraints associated with the use of RE-AIM in practice settings. Future evaluators wishing to use RE-AIM may benefit from a mixed-method triangulation approach to offset challenges with data availability and reliability.
Additional file 1: Overview of evidence used to assess each RE-AIM dimension. Table demonstrating the application of different evidence sources to address each RE-AIM criteria. (DOCX 13 kb)
Additional file 2: Table S2. Constructs highlighted during framework analysis. Table of identified interview themes, mapped against the RE-AIM framework dimensions. (DOCX 19 kb)
Additional file 3: Table S3. Application of mixed method data to assess the RE-AIM dimensions. Table presenting synthesis of data from all five data sources, mapped against the RE-AIM framework dimensions. (DOCX 15 kb)
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