Evaluation of faith-based health programming in the bronx: Successes and challenges
Methods: The FBOI evaluation was overseen by a Community Research Committee (CRC), which included pastors, community members, health professionals, staff, and researchers. The evaluation focused on process and outcomes, utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods, including interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Responsibility for data collection was shared between evaluation staff, FBOI staff, and project consultants. Interpretation of findings was the responsibility of the CRC.
Results: The CRC provided ongoing and valuable input to the evaluation, and our mixed-method approach facilitated collection of important individual and organizational data that provided insight into multiple aspects of the FBOI. Evaluation challenges included difficulty scheduling research activities due to competing priorities of churches; difficulty assessing individual change because of the voluntary nature of church activities; and inconsistent adherence to some aspects of the research protocol. To address these challenges, results were regularly discussed in CRC meetings and reported to participating churches, evaluation training was provided, and data from multiple methods were used to confirm study findings.
Conclusions: Conducting research on health programming in faith-settings is essential and informative, but challenges should be addressed proactively through open communication, regular reporting, training, and a mixed methods research approach.
Learning Areas:Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research
Explain the practices for effective collaborations involving faith institutions, health professionals, and researchers. Describe anticipated challenges in evaluation of faith-based health programming. Demonstrate the relative strengths of qualitative and quantitative methods in examining faith-based health programming.
Keyword(s): Faith Community, Evaluation
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the director of the evaluation of the Faith Based Outreach Initiative, described in the abstract. I am the Director of the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research at the NY Academy of Medicine and have worked on a number of studies focused on health promotion.
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.