Evaluation of a community-based, family focused healthy weights initiative using the RE-AIM framework

Mary E. Jung*, Jessica E. Bourne, Heather L. Gainforth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
300 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Childhood overweight and obesity is a major public health concern. Community-based interventions have the potential to reach caregivers and children. However, the overall health impact of these programs is rarely comprehensively assessed. This study evaluated a physical activity and healthy eating family program (Healthy Together; HT) using the RE-AIM framework. Methods: Ten sites implemented the 5-week program. Thirty-nine staff members and 277 program participants (126 caregivers [Mage = 35.6] and 151 children [Mage = 13]) participated in the evaluation. Each RE-AIM dimension was assessed independently using a mixed-methods approach. Sources of data included archival records, interviews and surveys. Effectiveness outcome variables were assessed at pre- and post-intervention and 6-month follow-up. Results: Reach: HT participants were almost entirely recruited from existing programs within sites. Effectiveness: Caregivers’ nutrition related efficacy beliefs increased following HT (ps < .03). Participation in HT was not associated with significant changes in physical activity or nutrition behaviour or perceived social support (ps > .05). Knowledge surrounding healthy diets and physical activity increased in children and caregivers (ps < .05). Adoption: Thirty-five percent of sites approached to implement HT expressed interest. The 10 sites selected recruited existing staff members to implement HT. Implementation: Program objectives were met 72.8% of the time and 71 adaptations were made. HT was finance- and time-dependent. Maintenance: Two sites fully implemented HT in the follow-up year and 5 sites incorporated aspects of HT into other programs. Conclusions: Working alongside organizations that develop community programs to conduct comprehensive, arms-length evaluations can systematically highlight areas of success and challenges. Overall HT represents a feasible community-based intervention; however further support is required in order to ensure the program is effective at positively targeting the desired outcomes. As a result of this evaluation, modifications are currently being implemented to HT.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Children
  • Community
  • Evaluation of a community-based
  • Family focused healthy weights initiative using the RE-AIM framework
  • Healthy weight
  • Program evaluation

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