265151 Evaluation of a Community-wide Obesity Prevention Initiative

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Hongmei Wang, PhD , Health Services Research and Administration, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Melissa Tibbits, PhD , Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Kelly Shaw-Sutherland, MPA , College of Public Health, Department of Health Services Research and Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Community-wide efforts have been used widely to promote healthy lifestyles and to fight the obesity epidemic in the U.S. Valid evaluation of such efforts is crucial to project success and sustainability but often prove to be challenging. This study adopts a systematic approach to evaluate a community-wide effort: the CDC-funded Douglas County (NE) Putting Prevention to Work obesity prevention initiative. The initiative is to prevent obesity through nine coordinated, evidence-based strategies: improving “share the road” signage; implementing bike share programs on college campuses; modifying the city's Master Plan to accommodate active living; promoting active transportation to primary schools; promoting health policies in local businesses and organizations; promoting active living in after-school programs; assisting store owners to incorporate healthy food selections; using locally grown foods within schools; and implementing a social marketing campaign to promote active living and healthy eating. The cornerstone of the evaluation was a comprehensive logic model developed collaboratively with the nine strategy groups, based on which a monthly output data tracking system was designed. Monthly progress reports were also collected providing qualitative data on implementation successes and challenges. This presentation discusses key evaluation findings from the first year for each strategy group, as well as lessons learned during program evaluation. Overall, the requested information was supplied timely and the continuous monitoring system contributed to 91% of milestones being completed on time. The results suggest that the use of a widely agreed-upon logic model and tracking systems contribute to evaluation effectiveness and success of a multi-component, community-wide intervention.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the program progress and implementation of a multi-component, community-wide obesity prevention initiative 2. Identify evaluation strategies to effectively assess the progress and outcome of a multi-component, community-wide obesity prevention initiative.

Keywords: Obesity, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a trained health services researcher with a PhD in healthy policy and work as an assistant professor in University of Nebraska Medical Center. My research interests are social-economic determinants of health and health-related behaviors and economic evaluation of health policies and programs. I have been the lead evaluator for a variety of community-wide efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and to prevent obesity in recent years.
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.