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Evaluating Community-Based Prevention Marketing


Host Institution
University of South Florida: Florida Prevention Research Center

Health Topics
Community health | Healthy youth | Nutrition | Occupational safety | Physical activity | Substance abuse prevention | Tobacco prevention and control

Public health interventions created for a community without input about its values and resources may be unlikely to be adopted. Strategies are needed to involve community members in planning and development. Community-based prevention marketing (CBPM) is an approach that enhances stakeholders’ collaboration and integrates behavior change approaches, marketing concepts, and community involvement into one effort to improve community health.

Researchers conducted case studies of three projects developed and implemented using CBPM to determine if it was used effectively in diverse projects and communities. For each project, researchers created a community coalition and worked with it to engage residents in strategies to address health problems. Researchers gathered data to determine how well communities used CBPM to develop a community profile of health risk factors, decide on a health topic, tailor an evidence-based intervention to fit the community, and use marketing to promote the intervention. Researchers and community partners used evaluation measures such as field notes, observations, and interviews to document progress and challenges. In some projects, surveys were conducted to measure the program’s exposure and its impact on behavior changes in the target audiences.

Believe in All Your Possibilities—an alcohol and smoking prevention program for middle school students—created a marketing plan that led to an increased community interest in controlling alcohol and tobacco use among teenagers and made substance use prevention a priority among law enforcement.

The Partnership for Citrus Worker Health trained community health workers (CHWs), citrus pickers who promoted the program, on issues such as eye safety and educational outreach. The effect of having specifically trained and equipped CHWs on harvesting crews was an increased use of protective eye glasses from 2% to between 27% and 37% over a two-year period. Workers who knew and received help from a CHW were significantly more likely to use safety glasses than were other members of intervention crews, as were workers who had 1–2 years of experience. The researchers observed that approximately half (48.9%) of the workers who had received help from a CHW were wearing glasses at their interview compared with only 24% of workers who indicated they did not know a CHW. The model may be applicable to preventing injuries in similar agricultural settings.

The Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Project developed the VERB Summer Scorecard (VSS), a program allowing young teens to participate in community-organized events and to track their physical activity over the course of a summer. The purpose of the study was to determine if participation in the VSS program was associated with changes in vigorous physical activity (VPA) over a four-year period. Researchers found that the proportion of youth in Lexington, Kentucky, aged 9 to 13 years, who self-reported little or no VPA decreased from 24% to 10% from the summer of 2004 to the summer of 2007; the proportion reporting high VPA increased from 37% to 50%. The VSS program has been sustained for seven years in Lexington and implemented in 20 other communities.

The evaluation data have shown that the CBPM model helped each coalition adapt and disseminate evidence-based practices. By testing the model in diverse projects, the researchers found that community board members can use marketing techniques to design interventions that result in behavior change. The projects also have demonstrated that CBPM can enhance community capacity to use marketing approaches. All three coalitions remain active and have sustained some or all program activities.

Believe in All Your Possibilities
Bell-Ellison BA, Forthofer MS, McDermott RJ, Zapata LB, Nearns JL, Curran KT, Calkins SA, Bryant CA, Brown KR. A theater-as-education project discourages tobacco and alcohol use. Middle School Journal 2009;41(1):11–9.

Bryant CA, Brown KR, McDermott RJ, Forthofer MS, Bumpus EC, Calkins SA, Zapata LB. Community-based prevention marketing: organizing a community for health behavior intervention. Health Promotion Practice 2007;8(2):154–63.

Partnership for Citrus Worker Health
Monaghan PF, Forst LS, Tovar-Aguilar JA, Bryant CA, Israel GD, Galindo-Gonzalez S, Thompson Z, Zhu Y, McDermott RJ. Preventing eye injuries among citrus harvesters: the community health worker model. American Journal of Public Health 2011 Dec;101(12):2269–74. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Monaghan PF, Bryant CA, McDermott RJ, Forst LS, Luque JS, Contreras RB. Adoption of safety eyewear among citrus harvesters in rural Florida. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. Epub 2011 Jun 4.

Lexington Tween Nutrition and Fitness Project
Alfonso ML, McDermott RJ, Thompson Z, Bryant CA, Courtney AH, Jones JA, Davis JL, Zhu Y. Vigorous physical activity among tweens, VERB Summer Scorecard program, Lexington, Kentucky, 2004–2007. Preventing Chronic Disease 2011 Sep;8(5):A104. Accessed 1/16/2012.

Bryant CA, Courtney AH, McDermott RJ, Alfonso ML, Baldwin JA, Nickelson J, Brown KR, DeBate RD, Phillips LM, Thompson Z, Zhu Y. Promoting physical activity among youth through community-based prevention marketing. Journal of School Health 2010 May;80(5):214–24.

DeBate RD, Baldwin JA, Thompson Z, Nickelson J, Alphonso ML, Bryant CA, Phillips LM, McDermott RJ. VERB Summer Scorecard: findings from a multi-level community-based physical activity intervention for tweens. American Journal of Community Psychology 2009;44(3–4):363–73.
Research Setting
No specific focus
Race or Ethnicity
No specific focus
No specific focus
Age Group
No specific focus
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Principal Investigator
Carol Bryant

Project Identifier
Community-Based Prevention Marketing - Core Project (2004-2009)

Funding Source
PRC Program

Project Status
Not active