Online Program

Testing promising evidence-based models for national scaling

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Valerie Lawson, MS, RD, LDN, Healthy Living, YMCA of the USA, Chicago, IL
78 million adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, but less than half have it under control. Disparities in the prevalence of hypertension are highest among non-Hispanic black adults.1  Despite this significant health issue, few evidence-based hypertension control program models have been scaled nationally by community-based organizations.

With funding from the CDC, YMCA of the USA developed a blood pressure self-monitoring program. Y-USA’s program builds on the findings from a study, “Check It, Change It: A Community Based Hypertension Program,” which revealed the simple process of checking and recording one’s own blood pressure at least twice per month for four consecutive months, with support of a health coach, may contribute to a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. 

264 participants in 3 communities engaged in a self-monitoring program with a goal of uploading blood pressure readings two times per month for four consecutive months.  Statistically significant reductions in systolic (-10.7mmHg; p<0.001) and diastolic (-3.9 mmHg; p=0.002) blood pressure were observed between initial and final blood pressure readings among the 37% of total participants who had at least two months between these two readings.  Given positive results, the program is in the next phase of development in preparation for national scaling.

The YMCA can effectively deliver an evidence-based intervention to help individuals manage blood pressure.  A systematic program development process can support community-based organizations, particularly those with national affiliate networks in proximity to populations experiencing health disparities, to discover and scale the most promising evidenced-based interventions.


Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how nationwide community-based organizations can leverage their networks to impact public health. Explain the process by which a national network tests potential program models to adapt to organizational structure and characteristics. Describe the factors that must be considered when adopting or creating a chronic disease prevention program for scaling across a national network

Keyword(s): Self-Management, Heart Disease

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Senior Manger of Chronic Disease Prevention Program Development I support the Healthy Living Department’s efforts to develop national chronic disease prevention programs designed to promote wellness, reduce behavioral risks and reclaim health. I lead and advance efforts to investigate, test and establish new program models.
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.