Poster Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

How does the policy context affect the implementation of the national Healthy Start Workforce Project (HSWP)? (#P22)

Caroline Gunn 1 , D Congalton 1 , A Jaquiery 1 , M Barker 2 , W Lawrence 2 , C Vogel 2
  1. Gravida, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom

Background/Aims: The aim of this study is to investigate how policies support implementation of a workforce education and behaviour change programme to improve the diets and lifestyles of pregnant women.

Methods: Local and national policies, resourcing structures and models of service delivery can impact health interventions. The HSWP provides an opportunity to assess how government and organisational policies support delivery of a population-level intervention to help pregnant women adopt healthier diets and lifestyles. Drawing on MRC guidance for evaluating complex interventions, a policy analysis and semi-structured interviews with the maternal and child workforce were completed to explore contextual factors facilitating or hindering intervention implementation.

Results: National and local policy documents relevant to improving the lifestyles of pregnant women were analysed to identify the key Maternal and Child Health priority areas recognised within the policy documents against the WHO Action Plan for NCD prevention policy options for healthy eating and physical activity.  Findings from the policy analysis and interviews were used to describe the barriers and facilitators of service delivery for implementing the HSWP intervention. Conclusions: Rising levels of childhood obesity and the need to address developmental origins of health is increasingly recognised by governments around the world. The HSWP offers a sustainable workforce development solution that could be translated into action in other countries. The key contextual factors enabling or hindering implementation of the intervention provide insight for effective uptake in other communities.

Funding source(s): Gravida