240393 Working with communities to evaluate the effectiveness of community grants in increasing physical activity among youth

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:30 PM

Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Mary Bea Kolbe, MPH, RD , Chronic Disease and Injury Section, North Carolina Division of Public Health, Raleigh, NC
Sara Morris, MAT, MPH, RD , Chronic Disease and Injury Section, North Carolina Division of Public Health, Raleigh, NC
Background: Contributing to rising childhood obesity rates is a lack of physical activity and a preponderance of sedentary behaviors in youth. One solution has been the provision of funding for community designed and delivered interventions to promote physical activity in youth. While evaluation methodologies have been widely developed, their application in community settings with limited evaluation personnel has been problematic for many. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the evaluation framework employed in partnership with local health departments and their community partners to conduct a baseline evaluation of a community grants program.

Methods: Baseline data collection was completed in fall of 2010, which employed a quasi-experimental design. To determine the impact of the grantee's programs on youth physical activity, objectively and subjectively measured physical activity data (i.e., accelerometry, questionnaires) were collected. To identify potential mediators and moderators of program efficacy, characteristics of the grantees, grantee communities, and the grantee target populations were qualitatively evaluated. These characteristics included; 1) fidelity in the implementation of the proposed intervention, 2) engagement of the target population, 3) engagement of stakeholders in the project, 4) stakeholder/target population satisfaction with the intervention.

Results: To date, questionnaire data from more than 1500 youth, accelerometer data from more than 1000 youth, and qualitative data from more than 40 community partners has been collected.

Conclusion: Developing a framework that is rigorous enough to answer the overarching research questions of the study, but flexible enough to be adapted to twenty different community interventions is challenging, but not impossible.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe a framework to evaluate the impact of community delivered physical activity programs. Discuss barriers and challenges related to the evaluation of a community-based physical activity intervention.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the community grants program that is the main object of the study and I am co-PI on the research study.
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.