243303 Pennsylvania Body & Soul: Program implementation and fidelity among African American churches

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH , Office of Health Communications and Health Disparities, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA, PA
Danielle M. Crookes, MPH , Health Communications and Health Disparities Department, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA
Evelyn T. Gonzalez, MA , Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA
Serina Gaston, MEd, CHES , Bureau of Health Promotion & Risk Reduction, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Harrisburg, PA
Jessica Zilka, CHES , Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Harrisburg, PA
Fang Zhu, PhD , Biostatistics Facilities, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Faith-based organizations are important partners in health promotion because they are trusted community institutions and can reach a range of individuals. Fox Chase Cancer Center's Office of Health Communications and Health Disparities (OHCHD), with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, has coordinated and evaluated a statewide dissemination of Body & Soul among African American churches. The Body & Soul program is a faith-based intervention designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among African Americans. The aim of this dissemination is to enable churches to implement and tailor health promotion programs and to measure program dissemination and implementation in a real-world setting. OHCHD provided community partners and churches with training, mini-grant funding and technical assistance from OHCHD. Community partners provided guidance to churches. Over a 12-month period, churches developed their own activity plan within the four program pillars (pastoral involvement, educational activities, healthy church environment, and peer counseling support) and participated in qualitative and quantitative evaluation (key informant interviews, monthly activity reports and follow-up surveys). From 2008-2010, 39 churches in 13 counties across Pennsylvania participated. Most churches implemented all pillars (67%) or three pillars (30%); Peer counseling was most difficult for churches to implement. Church activities ranged from two to forty-five per church. Activities included sermon series, taste-testing, and changes in church menus. Additional outcome measures will be presented. Funding and training facilitated church adoption, but implementation ranged across churches. Church readiness to implement health promotion programs and needs for additional training or support should be considered to improve fidelity.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: Describe the dissemination method and services provided to churches. Describe the extent to which Body & Soul was adopted at the church/organizational level, including describing the environmental changes made by the churches. Evaluate the effect of Body & Soul on the congregation's knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to healthy eating, physical activity, and health.

Keywords: African American, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Assistant Vice President, Office of Health Communications and Health Disparities, Fox Chase Cancer Center and have worked on this project since its inception.
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.