Understanding implementation outcomes of INFANT to support the promotion of healthy eating and active play from the start of life

The ‘Infant Feeding, Nutrition and Active Play’ (INFANT) program is based on more than 10 years of research at IPAN, Deakin University. INFANT has been shown to produce long-term impacts to the health behaviours of parents/caregivers and their infants. INFANT has also been found to enhance health professionals’ confidence to engage in conversations with parents and caregivers regarding their baby’s healthy eating and active play. INFANT is now being scaled-up across Victoria via Maternal Child Health and Community Health services. A National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project Grant supports the implementation evaluation (2019-2024). Additionally, the Victorian Department of Health is providing further funding to enhance implementation of INFANT to all interested Victorian LGAs and identifies INFANT as a program within the Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Strategy.  Only a portion of research studies are implemented in practice settings, and INFANT at-scale offers a unique opportunity to unpack the complex factors that affect successful implementation.

 Project aim

This PhD provides opportunities to explore the major knowledge gap in the evaluation of implementation outcomes of an evidence-based early life behavioural intervention when delivered at scale. This PhD will make important contributions to the understanding of how to implement evidence-based early life behavioural interventions in real-world contexts to achieve individual and population-level benefits. This PhD will also provide the opportunity to collect new data, work with a wide range of stakeholders, and collaborate nationally and internationally.

 Research Questions:

  • What strategies are needed to overcome barriers and maximise enablers experienced by health services for the adoption, implementation and sustained delivery of INFANT?
  • What, when, why and how does adaptation occur when implementing INFANT, and does this affect effectiveness?

This opportunity is open to domestic and international students living in Australia.

Potential scholarships are available. Domestic applications open 1 May – 31 October; International applications are accepted all year round with those received after 31 July considered for the following year.

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