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We have the programme, what next? Planning the implementation of an injury prevention programme
  1. Alex Donaldson1,
  2. David G Lloyd2,
  3. Belinda J Gabbe3,
  4. Jill Cook4,
  5. Caroline F Finch1
  1. 1Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University—Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University The Alfred Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Prof. Caroline Finch, Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, P.O. Box 663, Ballarat, VIC 3353, Australia;


Background and aim The impact of any injury prevention programme is a function of the programme and its implementation. However, real world implementation of injury prevention programmes is challenging. Lower limb injuries (LLIs) are common in community Australian football (community-AF) and it is likely that many could be prevented by implementing exercise-based warm-up programmes for players. This paper describes a systematic, evidence-informed approach used to develop the implementation plan for a LLI prevention programme in community-AF in Victoria, Australia.

Methods An ecological approach, using Step 5 of the Intervention Mapping health promotion programme planning protocol, was taken.

Results An implementation advisory group was established to ensure the implementation plan and associated strategies were relevant to the local context. Coaches were identified as the primary programme adopters and implementers within an ecological system including players, other coaches, first-aid providers, and club and league administrators. Social Cognitive Theory was used to identify likely determinants of programme reach, adoption and implementation among coaches (eg, knowledge, beliefs, skills and environment). Diffusion of Innovations theory, the Implementation Drivers framework and available research evidence were used to identify potential implementation strategies including the use of multiple communication channels, programme resources, coach education and mentoring.

Conclusions A strategic evidence-informed approach to implementing interventions will help maximise their population impact. The approach to implementation planning described in this study relied on an effective researcher-practitioner partnership and active engagement of stakeholders. The identified implementation strategies were informed by theory, evidence and an in-depth understanding of the implementation context.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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