Lessons from Researching Health Improvement Provision in Spanish Professional Football Clubs
This seminar aims to share learning on implementing evaluation research in the context of health improvement interventions delivered by/through Spanish football clubs or their community trusts.
A carnegieXchange Seminar from Dr Lorena Lozano-Sufrategui
Aim: To share learning on implementing evaluation research in the context of health improvement interventions delivered by/through Spanish football clubs or their community trusts. Methods: In order to learn from the process of undertaking evaluation research, we used a qualitative design which enabled us to record the methodological challenges we faced as public health researchers during the recruitment phase. In total, we recruited 11 professional football clubs, 7 clubs from the first division and 4 from the second.
A record of the recruitment challenges we experienced was kept in the form of fieldnotes and reflective diaries (Atkinson and Hammersley, 1994; Curran et al., 2014). Thematic analysis (Braun, Clarke and Weate, 2016) was used to identify, analyse, interpret and report patterns within the fieldnotes collected. Results: Five key challenges were identified when conducting evaluation research in Spanish professional clubs, including: the difficulty to identify the appropriate contact; the lack of knowledge the clubs or trusts had with regards to health interventions; an evasive attitude towards our request to participate; having other competing priorities relegating the request to participate; and misconceptions of who could participate in the study. Conclusions: Our case study has provided important insights into the challenges of conducting evaluation research with ‘top flight’ Spanish professional clubs. These surrounded issues related to capacity, commitment and capability to undertake evaluation. This research builds preparedness for future research in health improvement provision in international sporting settings.