Effectiveness of a multifaceted implementation strategy for improving adherence to the guideline for prevention of mental ill-health among school personnel in Sweden: a cluster randomized trial

Anna Toropova, Christina Björklund, Gunnar Bergström, Liselotte Schäfer Elinder, Kjerstin Stigmar, Charlotte Wåhlin, Irene Jensen, Lydia Kwak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There is limited research on prevention of mental ill-health of school personnel and the systematic management of school work environments. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of implementing the guideline recommendations for the prevention of mental ill-health in schools, in particular, whether there was a difference in adherence to guideline recommendations between a multifaceted (group 1) and single implementation strategy (group 2) from baseline to 6 and to 12 months. Method: We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial with a 6- and 12-month follow-up. Data was collected from nearly 700 participants in 19 Swedish schools. Participants were school personnel working under the management of a school principal. The single implementation strategy consisted of one educational meeting, while the multifaceted implementation strategy comprised an educational meeting, an ongoing training in the form of workshops, implementation teams and Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles. Adherence was measured with a self-reported questionnaire. Generalized Linear Mixed Models were used to assess the difference between groups in adherence to the guideline between baseline, 6-, and 12-months follow-up. Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in improvements in adherence to the guideline between baseline, 6-, and 12-months follow-up. However, among those schools that did not undergo any organizational changes during the 12 months of the study significant differences between groups were observed at 12 months for one of the indicators. Conclusions: The multifaceted strategy was no more effective than the single strategy in improving guideline adherence. There are some limitations to the study, such as the measurement of the implementation outcome measure of adherence. The outcome measure was developed in a systematic manner by the research team, assessing specific target behaviors relevant to the guideline recommendations, however not psychometrically tested, which warrants a careful interpretation of the results. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, 150571. Registered 12 September 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalImplementation Science
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Work Sciences
  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Keywords

  • Adherence to guideline recommendations
  • Implementation strategy
  • Mental health
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Schools

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