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Dissemination of DOiT

On 27 February 2015 Femke van Nassau obtained her PhD entitles ‘Dissemination of DOiT’ at the VU University in Amsterdam. Her PhD thesis describes the preparation and evaluation of the adoption, implementation and continuation of the school-based Dutch Obesity Intervention in Teenagers (DOiT) programme in order to gain insight into the facilitating factors and barriers to its nationwide dissemination.

To summarize, this study underlines the difficulty of translating intervention effectiveness from controlled settings to real world contexts. Although the initial DOiT programme showed promising effects during the controlled evaluation, the adapted DOiT programme was not successful in changing adolescents’ overweight during less controlled dissemination. Nonetheless, the programme resulted in beneficial effects on consumption of sugar-containing beverages in girls and breakfast consumption in boys.

Based on the results of this study, implementation of the DOiT programme in its present form and with its current implementation strategy is not more effective than regular curricula in preventing overweight. As teachers were satisfied with the programme, schools can still substitute the regular biology, health education and physical education lessons dealing with healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviour with the DOiT lessons.

However, in order to significantly contribute to the prevention of overweight, further adaptations to the programme and implementation strategy are needed, and inclusion of other important contexts for youth should be considered. Future studies should continue to evaluate evidence-based programmes during less controlled dissemination to better understand if and how effectiveness is retained when disseminating evidence-based approaches into practice.

Currently, Femke works as a post doc researcher for the EuroFIT program, an EU funded RCT evaluation of a lifestyle intervention for football fans of premier League football clubs in Europe –

Click below for a summary of Femke van Nassau's thesis in English.