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The development of the Comprehensive Analysis of Policy on Physical Activity (CAPPA) framework

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Klepac Pogrmilovic, Bojana 
O’Sullivan, Grant 
Milton, Karen 
Biddle, Stuart J. H. 
Bauman, Adrian 


Abstract: Background: Policy analysis is considered essential for achieving successful reforms in health promotion and public health. The only framework for physical activity (PA) policy analysis was developed at a time when the field of PA policy research was in its early stages. PA policy research has since grown, and our understanding of what elements need to be included in a comprehensive analysis of PA policy is now more refined. This study developed a new conceptual framework for PA policy analysis – the Comprehensive Analysis of Policy on Physical Activity (CAPPA) framework. Methods: The development of the CAPPA framework was based on: (i) an extensive review of literature; (ii) an open discussion between the authors; (iii) three rounds of a Delphi process; and (iv) two-rounds of consultations with PA policy stakeholders. Results: The CAPPA framework specifies 38 elements of a comprehensive analysis of PA policies in the following six categories, which comprise the building blocks of the framework: (i) purpose of analysis (including auditing and assessment of policies); (ii) policy level (including: international; national; subnational; local; and institutional policies); (iii) policy sector (including: health; sport; recreation and leisure; education; transport; environment; urban/rural planning and design; tourism; work and employment; public finance; and research sectors); (iv) type of policy (including: formal written policies; unwritten formal statements; written standards and guidelines; formal procedures; and informal policies); (v) stage of policy cycle (including: agenda setting; formulation; endorsement/legitimisation; implementation; evaluation; maintenance; termination; and succession); and (vi) scope of analysis (including availability; context; processes; actors; political will; content; and effects). Based on the CAPPA framework, we also proposed broad and inclusive definitions of PA policy and PA policy analysis. Conclusion: The CAPPA framework may be used to guide future studies related to PA policy and to provide a context for the analysis of its specific components. The framework could be used in the same way for sedentary behaviour policy research. Future research should examine the extent to which PA policy analysis has covered each of the elements specified in the CAPPA framework and analyse the elements for which evidence is lacking. Future studies should also determine whether the existing tools allow for auditing and assessment of all the CAPPA elements and develop new tools if needed to allow for a more comprehensive PA policy analysis.



Research, Physical activity, Policy, Policy analysis, Sedentary behaviour, Framework

Journal Title

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

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BioMed Central