Evaluation of the Healthy Schools Program: Part II. The Role of Technical Assistance
Published Date:Mar 01 2012
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2012; 9.
Evidence-based technical assistance may be needed to implement recent federal policy to prevent childhood obesity through the schools. The Healthy Schools Program is the largest school-based obesity prevention program in the United States. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the role of the program's training and technical assistance and to explore other contributing factors in changing school policies, practices, and environments.
We analyzed interim progress of schools recruited during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years as of December 2010. Schools reported progress through an online inventory of policies, practices, and school environment. We compared baseline inventories to the most recent follow-up and tracked both training attendance and contact with national experts. To identify the factors associated with progress, we performed regression analysis on school level and demographics, number of months between baseline and follow-up, and technical assistance.
The amount of training and technical assistance was significantly associated with school progress, controlling for school level and demographics, number of months between baseline and follow-up, and school status at baseline. Although all types of schools saw progress, schools in the South had the most progress and urban schools had the least progress.
Evidence-based training and technical assistance were associated with school progress in changing policies, practices, and environment to prevent childhood obesity.
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