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About Eating (AE) is an online program addressing healthy lifestyles and food resource skills. In a school-based nutrition and physical activity intervention AE was offered without utilizing dissemination science tenets to parents.
Examine the reach of the AE component for parent participants of Fuel For Fun (FFF) to plan dissemination science strategies in subsequent implementations.
Study Design, Settings, Participants
Controlled trial with school-driven randomization of parent interventions in 8 elementary schools in northern Colorado; parents of fourth grade youth in FFF.
Website tracking of online participation, responses to baseline surveys of food management skills and eating behavior, end-of-lesson critiques for each module; descriptive statistics, group comparisons using independent t-tests, chi-square.
Of 421 parents who completed a study survey, 217 (52%) were in schools with access to AE. Of these, 70 (32%) viewed ≥ 1 AE module, 32 (15%) ≥ 2. Of 70 AE visitors, 17 (24%) viewed all 6 modules. Although parents assigned to AE were less likely than those not assigned to AE to be eating competent (48% vs 58%; P = 0.04) and more highly educated (postgraduate 38% vs 22%, P < 0.001), no differences were observed between AE visitors and non-visitors (n = 147). “Enjoying Eating” and “About My Size” were most popular modules with 44 and 38 visits respectively; all modules were represented in the group (n = 38) who visited 1 lesson. End-of-lesson critiques were uniform across all modules. On a scale of 1 (most positive) to 4, modules were not difficult to read (1-1.4); interesting (1.7- 2.2) and useful (1.8 - 2.2). Only 12 parents spent > 15 minutes on a lesson; “About My Size” was the lesson most frequently visited for > 15 minutes.
Reach of an online program based on principles of eating competence to motivated parents was moderate but with positive response. Findings support considering processes and products in designing for dissemination by considering parent needs and assets to improve reach, effectiveness, adoption and implementation of online program concepts.
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