Online Program

An innovative delivery alternative to traditional nutrition education used in Maricopa County WIC clinics: A pilot study

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jennifer Tran, MPH, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
The overall prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to rise with a dramatic increase among children and young adults. All population groups carry this burden, however children from low-income, minority families are more susceptible to being obese. The Woman, Infant, and Children’s program (WIC) provides nutrition education, which is a core component of the supplemental service program that aims to alleviate this epidemic. Successful WIC nutrition education programs must adapt to meet the needs of a changing and diverse population.

Holistic approaches that are placed around family, community, and child development, and take cultural competency into account, have a better chance of success. Although, the sustainability of such programs are not guaranteed, it can be planned for and achieved with staff and institutional buy-in; especially with continued support and training of educators when major decisions or changes are made to the existing nutrition education practice. Recent evidence suggests that interactive multimedia (IMM) is an effective and innovative delivery method in improving nutrition related behaviors in low-income, minority populations.

This pilot study implements a culturally appropriate IMM nutrition education program based on existing WIC curriculum that emphasizes specific nutrition messages. The program will be implemented within a Maricopa County WIC clinic with an average caseload. Formative evaluation processes and focus groups will be utilized to determine the ease of navigation, flow, usefulness of the activities, understandability, quality, and effectiveness of the messages within this population. IMM integration at one clinic is used to increase the reliability, validity, and applicability of the program modules, content, and assessment tools. The desired primary outcome is immediate gains in client nutrition knowledge and related behaviors. Secondary outcomes are planned changes in behavior and a decrease in total appointment time spent with WIC staff.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe a cost-effective solution to facilitate engagement and overcomes barriers associated with traditional face-to-face nutrition education in low-income populations. Evaluate the effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of using IMM for immediate gains in client nutrition knowledge and related behaviors. Identify which healthy behavior changes related to nutrition are sustainable using this delivery method.

Keyword(s): WIC, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed both the Master's level practicum and capstone on this topic. I evaluated large data sets for Maricopa County's WIC program to identify ways to increase staff productivity and improve clinic operations.
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.