Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION: Two factors determine the ultimate impact of health promotion
programs: the ability of interventions to influence health outcomes and the
extent of exposure and participation in the program by the population at
risk. Research to date on school-based health promotion programs has shown
that school- based programs can be both efficacious and effective. However,
little is known about how to adequately diffuse effective programs available
on a large scale and how to maintain the level of implementation
demonstrated during the research phase. The Child and Adolescent Trial for
Cardiovascular Health (CATCH) study presents a unique opportunity to study
the institutionalization of a school-based health promotion program in a
natural observation study. CATCH is the largest school-based health
promotion study ever funded in the United States, including schools from
four geographical areas and representing students from diverse cultural and
ethnic groups. The aims of this study are to assess the degree to which
CATCH intervention goals (reduction of the fat and saturated fat offered in
school meals, increase in the amount of time students spend in moderate to
vigorous physical activity in PE class, 90 minutes of school time devoted to
PE class, a policy of no tobacco use and implementation of the CATCH
curriculum) are being maintained or institutionalized in the original 56
CATCH intervention (maximally exposed) schools and the degree to which these
same CATCH intervention outcomes are being achieved in the 20 randomly
selected former CATCH control (minimally exposed) schools. To determine the
influence of secular trends, these outcome measures will also be assessed in
12 newly recruited (unexposed) schools.

Measures of school climate, teacher and staff characteristics, school
turbulence and school facilities and resources will be assessed to help
explain the variation in the degree of institutionalization in the CATCH
intervention and control schools. The significance of the results from the
proposed study reside in their future utility to plan for the diffusion of
health promotion programs, including the identification of barriers and
facilitating factors involved in the institutionalization of such programs.
Effective start/end date5/1/983/31/02


  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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