Generalizing the Findings From Group Dynamics–Based Physical Activity Research to Practice Settings: What Do We know?

Samantha M. Harden, Shauna M. Burke, Amanda M. Haile, Paul A. Estabrooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The general purpose of this secondary analysis of a prior systematic review was to determine the degree to which group dynamics–based physical activity interventions align with research processes and outcomes that are more likely to facilitate the translation of research into practice. To accomplish this, a systematic search was conducted within Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, and MEDLINE databases to identify articles published prior to 2010 that used at least one group dynamics–based strategy (e.g., group interaction, group goal setting) in physical activity promotion. These 17 intervention studies were identified and coded based on the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, maintenance framework and Pragmatic–Explanatory Continuum Indicator Summary (for trial design characteristics). Reporting was infrequent for external validity factors (i.e., representativeness, adoption, cost, maintenance) but more frequent for internal validity factors (e.g., inclusion criteria). Intervention costs were not reported. Studies were more likely to be pragmatic (i.e., designed to determine the effects of an intervention under the usual conditions in which it will be applied) in areas of participant compliance and practitioner adherence and explanatory (i.e., designed to determine the effects of an intervention under ideal conditions) and in areas of practitioner expertise and flexibility of intervention protocol. While a number of these interventions were tested in more pragmatic settings, external validity factors were still underreported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 14 2015



  • evaluation
  • group dynamics
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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