Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Members of Black Churches, Michigan and North Carolina, 2008–2010
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 10.
Evidence-based health promotion programs that are disseminated in community settings can improve population health. However, little is known about how effective such programs are when they are implemented in communities. We examined community implementation of an evidence-based program, Body and Soul, to promote consumption of fruits and vegetables.
We randomly assigned 19 churches to 1 of 2 arms, a colon cancer screening intervention or Body and Soul. We conducted our study from 2008 through 2010. We used the RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) framework to evaluate the program and collected data via participant surveys, on-site observations, and interviews with church coordinators and pastors.
Members of 8 churches in Michigan and North Carolina participated in the Body and Soul program. Mean fruit and vegetable consumption increased from baseline (3.9 servings/d) to follow-up (+0.35, P = .04). The program reached 41.4% of the eligible congregation. Six of the 8 churches partially or fully completed at least 3 of the 4 program components. Six churches expressed intention to maintain the program. Church coordinators reported limited time and help to plan and implement activities, competing church events, and lack of motivation among congregation members as barriers to implementation.
The RE-AIM framework provided an effective approach to evaluating the dissemination of an evidence-based program to promote health. Stronger emphasis should be placed on providing technical assistance as a way to improve other community-based translational efforts.
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