Evaluation of a Remote Implementation of the Well-Being Promotion Program with Middle School Students during COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic and pivot to emergency remote teaching changed the way in which many students access school-based mental health interventions. Furthermore, the effects of the pandemic heightened distress and decreased life satisfaction amongst many youth, increasing the need for schools to provide targeted mental health supports (Lazarus et al, 2021; Magson et al., 2021). Empirically supported Tier 2 mental health interventions exist (i.e., the Well-Being Promotion Program; Suldo, 2016), but little is known about how these interventions can be adapted and feasibly implemented in remote school contexts. This retrospective case study evaluated the implementation of a remote version of the Well-Being Promotion Program, a targeted positive psychology intervention, with eighth grade students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aimed to (1) to describe the co-design process through which a research-practice partnership modified the WBPP for remote delivery and (2) to explore the implementation strategies that influenced the feasibility of implementing the resulting digital version of the WBPP. The study used qualitative data (e.g., meeting notes, interviews and written feedback from providers, students, and caregivers) and quantitative data (e.g., pre-/post-measures, intervention integrity, attendance) to evaluate the co-design process and the feasibility of the adapted WBPP. Through co-design, the intervention was modified to be facilitated via videoconference, to use digital versions of WBPP materials, to use email to share with caregivers the handouts and a recorded version of the information session, to add additional sessions for data collection, and to adapt language to align with school vernacular. Using reflexive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Braun et al., 2019), themes were constructed from the data to provide insight into the implementation strategies used by the research-practice partnership to influence feasibility. Findings suggest that (a) maintaining the structure of the WBPP, (b) using technology for remote implementation, (c) collaborating through the research-practice partnership, and (d) recognizing the effectiveness of intervention efforts influenced the feasibility of the remote implementation. Lessons learned from this case study suggest that research-practice partnerships can be critical for influencing the feasibility of intervention implementation in local school contexts, especially during novel situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic

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