Testing of Strategies to Reach Direct Education Participants Long-Term

Garry Auld, Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

The RNECE-West is conducting formative evaluation in preparation for carrying out a long-term follow-up evaluation of EFNEP and SNAP-Ed participants. Long-term follow-up will require contacting program graduates at 6 and 12 months post-graduation. The results of this project will help determine the best approaches to finding and recruiting graduates to measure how well behavior changes are sustained long-term. Protocols were developed for use by researchers to test different strategies for reaching participants post-graduation.

The pilot arm of this project conducted in Colorado yielded 120 EFNEP and SNAP-Ed graduates at both 6 and 12 months post-graduation randomly assigned to one of six follow-up strategies: postal mail, email, text from educator, text from state program office, phone call from educator, and phone call from state program office.  Those reached were asked to complete the behavior checklist questionnaire and a short survey asking their willingness to provide other types of data (BMI, blood pressure, dietary intake).

Response rates for each strategy as follows:

  • Postal mail: 22.5%
  • Email: 22.5%
  • Text from educator: 32.5%
  • Text from state office: 12.5%
  • Phone call from educator: 25%
  • Phone call from state office: 20%

Analysis of the data collected from the participants reached demonstrates that participants maintained and in some cases improved, many of the behaviors at 6 and 12 months.  Results also showed that a substantial percent of respondents also expressed willingness to provide objective data.  The RNECE-West Leadership Team is identifying five states to replicate this project in their state to broaden the generalizability of results.

Timeline:

  • Start date – March 2015
  • Target completion date – May 2016