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Process Evaluation of Strong Hearts, Healthy Communities: A Rural Community-Based Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program

Sriram, Urshila, Sandreuter, Kirstin, Graham, Meredith, Folta, Sara, Pullyblank, Kristin, Paul, Lynn, Seguin, Rebecca
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2019 v.51 no.2 pp. 138-149
cardiovascular diseases, chi-square distribution, disease prevention, exercise, health education, healthy diet, heart, interviews, overweight, rural communities, rural population, rural women, surveys, towns
To evaluate the implementation of a community-based cardiovascular disease prevention program for rural women: Strong Hearts, Healthy Communities (SHHC).Mixed-methods process evaluation.A total of 101 women from 8 rural towns were enrolled in the SHHC program; 93 were enrolled as controls. Eligible participants were aged ≥40 years, sedentary, and overweight or obese. Local health educators (n = 15) served as program leaders within each town.Reach, fidelity, dose delivered, dose received, and program satisfaction were assessed using after-class surveys, participant satisfaction surveys, interviews with program leaders, and participant focus groups.Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests of independence, and thematic analysis were employed.Intervention sites reported high levels of fidelity (82%) and dose delivered (84%). Overall reach was 2.6% and program classes were rated as effective (3.9/5). Participants were satisfied with their experience and reported benefits such as camaraderie and awareness of healthy eating and exercise strategies. Common recommendations included increasing class time and enhancing group discussion.Implementation was good in terms of fidelity, dose delivered, and satisfaction, although low reach. Findings from this research have informed a second round of implementation and evaluation of the SHHC program in rural communities.