216311 West Virginia Can! Evaluation of an intervention to increase family involvement in childhood obesity prevention

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Jill Nolan, MA , Prevention Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Nancy O'Hara Tompkins, PhD , Prevention Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Melanie Purkey, MS , Office of Healthy School, West Virginia Department of Education, Charleston, WV
Don Chapman, MS , Office of Healthy School, West Virginia Department of Education, Charleston, WV
Rick Deem , Office of Healthy School, West Virginia Department of Education, Charleston, WV
Background: West Virginia consistently has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity. The WV Department of Education's Office of Healthy Schools (OHS) conducted a pilot implementation of the We Can Energize our Families (We Can!) program during the spring of 2009. Purpose: To report findings from a process evaluation of this effort. Significance: Process evaluations are important in determining whether a program is implemented as planned and to determine strengths and weaknesses of the program and implementation plan. Methodology: Implementation was tracked by email, telephone and electronic surveys with program facilitators. Implementing facilitators' impressions of the program and perceived barriers were also assessed and analyzed using descriptive statistics; open ended responses were coded for themes. Parents were given pre and post surveys, adapted from the national evaluation of We Can! Parent data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and independent samples t-tests. Findings: 15/21 facilitators implemented the program within the evaluation time frame. Problems with obtaining funding led to limited recruitment of parents, which resulting in some facilitators modifying the program. The program was well received by facilitators and had a positive perceived impact. Parents' (n=28) knowledge of energy balance, healthy food behaviors, and screen time significantly improved along with their attitudes toward portion size and healthy eating. Conclusions: Although the sample size was small, some positive results and feedback from facilitators support We Can as a promising intervention in WV. This project supports the Institute of Medicine recommendations for implementing and evaluating family-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the implementation of the We Can program 2. Identify implementation challenges 3. Discuss the findings of the We Can evaluation 4. Describe successes and limitations in the program and evaluation 5. Identify recommendations for similar initiatives and evaluations

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student working for the West Virginia Prevention Research Center who was contracted to work on this evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.