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GRAIDs: Adapting Evidence-Based Health Promotion for People with Disabilities

In the realm of health promotion, evidence-based programs have long been the cornerstone of improving overall well-being. However, individuals with disabilities have often faced exclusion from these initiatives due to their unique needs and circumstances. To bridge this gap, a pioneering framework known as GRAIDs – Guidelines, Recommendations, Adaptations Including Disability – has been developed to adapt evidence-based health promotion programs specifically for people with disabilities. In this groundbreaking study, we explore the framework’s significance, with a focus on adapting obesity prevention strategies for this deserving population.

Background: A Framework for Inclusive Health Promotion

Evidence-based health promotion programs, while effective for the general population, often overlook individuals with disabilities. Recognizing this disparity, a comprehensive set of methods and criteria were created to address the issue head-on. GRAIDs, as a framework, aims to enable the adaptation of evidence-based obesity prevention strategies to cater to the unique needs of individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. This pioneering approach seeks to foster inclusivity and ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of better health.

Methods: Building a Comprehensive Framework

GRAIDs: Adapting Evidence-Based Health Promotion for People with Disabilities

The development of GRAIDs involves a systematic approach with five essential components:

  1. Scoping Review: A thorough review of the published and grey literature forms the foundation, providing insights into existing gaps and potential adaptations.
  2. Expert Workgroup: Comprising esteemed leaders in disability and health promotion, the expert workgroup delves into the scoping review materials, refining and transforming them into draft GRAIDs.
  3. Focus Groups: Individuals with disabilities and their family members participate in separate focus groups, offering valuable input on the real-world applicability of the proposed GRAIDs.
  4. National Consensus Meeting: A panel of 21 experts convene to review and vote on a final set of GRAIDs, ensuring a comprehensive and well-rounded approach.
  5. Independent Peer Review: National leaders from key disability organizations and professional groups engage in an online web portal to provide independent peer review of GRAIDs, validating their credibility and inclusivity.

Results: Towards Inclusive Health Promotion

As an ongoing project, the GRAIDs framework has thus far produced 11 comprehensive GRAIDs, aligning with 11 out of 24 CDC obesity prevention strategies. The meticulous process has not only empowered the adaptation of existing programs but has also sparked a new wave of inclusive health promotion initiatives.

The GRAIDs framework represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of inclusive health promotion. By providing a structured methodology to adapt evidence-based programs for individuals with disabilities, GRAIDs offer researchers, practitioners, and government agencies a transformative tool. Now, evidence-based health promotion initiatives, originally designed for those without disabilities, can be thoughtfully adapted and tailored to cater to the unique needs and circumstances of individuals with disabilities. As we embrace the potential of GRAIDs, we embark on a journey towards a future where inclusive health promotion guidelines, strategies, and practices become the norm, leaving no one behind in the pursuit of better health and well-being.


Meet Dinky, a Ramapo College of New Jersey alumnus who traded in her pen and notebook for a barbell and stopwatch. Dinky has been flexing her writing muscles for over four years as a journalist. She’s now bringing her expertise to, where she covers the latest and greatest in fitness trends, health, and lifestyle topics. But Dinky doesn’t just write about fitness – she lives it. She’s a regular at the gym and has a passion for CrossFit and bodybuilding competitions, making her the ultimate insider in the fitness industry. So whether you’re looking for workout inspiration, the latest supplement reviews, or coverage of the biggest competitions, Dinky’s got you covered.

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