Enhancing the implementation and sustainability of fundamental movement skill interventions in the UK and Ireland: lessons from collective intelligence engagement with stakeholders

Jiani Ma, Michael Hogan, Emma Eyre, Natalie Lander, Lisa Barnett, Michael Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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To have population-level impact, physical activity (PA) interventions must be effectively implemented and sustained under real-world conditions. Adequate Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) is integral to children being able to actively participate in play, games, and sports. Yet, few FMS interventions have been implemented at scale, nor sustained in routine practice, and thus it is important to understand the influences on sustained implementation. The study’s aim was to use Collective Intelligence (CI)—an applied systems science approach—with stakeholder groups to understand barriers to the implementation of FMS interventions, interdependencies between these barriers, and options to overcome the system of barriers identified.

Three CI sessions were conducted with three separate groups of experienced FMS intervention researchers/practitioners (N = 22) in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Participants generated and ranked barriers they perceive most critical in implementing FMS interventions. Each group developed a structural model describing how highly ranked barriers are interrelated in a system. Participants then conducted action mapping to solve the problem based on the logical relations between barriers reflected in the model.

The top ranked barriers (of 76) are those related to policy, physical education curriculum, and stakeholders’ knowledge and appreciation. As reflected in the structural model, these barriers have influences over stakeholders’ efficacy in delivering and evaluating interventions. According to this logical structure, 38 solutions were created as a roadmap to inform policy, practice, and research. Collectively, solutions suggest that efforts in implementation and sustainability need to be coordinated (i.e., building interrelationship with multiple stakeholders), and a policy or local infrastructure that supports these efforts is needed.

The current study is the first to describe the complexity of barriers to implementing and sustaining FMS interventions and provide a roadmap of actions that help navigate through the complexity. By directing attention to the ecological context of FMS intervention research and participation, the study provides researchers, policy makers, and practitioners with a framework of critical components and players that need to be considered when designing and operationalising future projects in more systemic and relational terms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativeco
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Funding Information: Jiani Ma is supported by a Cotutelle Doctoral Studentship of Coventry University and Deakin University. The conduct of data collection workshop was supported by Barry Gidden Fund.


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Implementation science
  • Motor competence
  • Motor skills
  • Physical activity
  • Physical education
  • Systems science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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