218871 Lessons learned from investigating the sustainability of a church-based health program

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nicole Keene, MPH, MA , Department of Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Elizabeth Ablah, PhD, MPH , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Judy A. Johnston, MS, RD, LD , Department of Preventive Medicine & Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita, Wichita, KS
Kim Moore, President UMHMF , President, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Hutchinson, KS
Issues: This research project examined the sustainability of Health Congregations in Action (HCIA), a multi-year health promotion program. Thirty Kansas United Methodist churches participated in the program to build their capacity to conduct health ministry. HCIA is similar to other church-based health promotion interventions; as such examining the sustainability of the program was identified as important. Description: HCIA trained leadership teams on leadership, planning, wellness and overall health. Each group received training on developing and implementing four health improvement plans. Congregants were asked to complete Health Risk Assessments at baseline, one and two years. To determine the sustainability of reported health behavior changes, a follow-up modified health risk assessment was conducted one year after HCIA ended with a sample of congregations participating in the translational project, Healthy Congregations 2 (HC2). Congregational leaders and research staff struggled to locate some past participants and to motivate interest from remaining past participants. Despite barriers, congregational leaders from twelve of the HCIA churches that are also participating in HC2 were able to sample a small group of previous participants. Lessons Learned: Determining the sustainability of reported health behavior change is important for the efficiency and effectiveness of future church-based health promotion programs and interventions. Securing participation in follow-up data collection is a difficult and time consuming task. Recommendations: Sustainability evaluations should be included in initial program/intervention plans. This initial planning could potentially ease the processes of securing participation of participants and aid in the collection of follow-up data.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to define the importance of sustainability. Participants will be able to identify obstacles to sustainable behavior change.

Keywords: Faith Community, Sustainability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this information because I have been a public health graduate student for over two years. This project has been the focus of my final phase of graduate student training before graduation in May 2010. I have worked with many highly qualified faculty to research this area to the best of our ability.
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.