CORE RESEARCH PROJECT: NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION STUDY OF THE FAITH, ACTIVITY, AND NUTRITION (FAN) PROGRAM

FUNDING SOURCE: CDC 2019-2024

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Sara Wilcox, PhD

CO-INVESTIGATORS:

Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN), was developed and tested in partnership with the 7th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (www.health-e-ame.org). This faith-based program targets organizational change within the church to be more supportive of physical activity and healthy eating. In a previous grant funded by the National Institutes of Health, the program was shown to increase leisure-time physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake in AME church members. The program is indexed in the National Cancer Institute Research-tested Intervention Programs and is listed as a promising intervention in the Rural Health Information Hub).

In the 2014-2019 funding cycle, FAN was disseminated to churches of various denominations in Fairfield County, South Carolina and across the state of South Carolina through the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. See more here. In the last two years of funding, churches were also trained in additional churches in South Carolina and Georgia.

For the 2019-2024 funding cycle, the USC PRC, in partnership with its Community Advisory Board and Translation Partners, will provide online training to churches across the United States. An online learning platform with a discussion board will be used. Churches interested in this training can complete the FAN Online Training Interest Form here:

Guided by the RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance), the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), and the Knowledge to Action Framework (K2A), and with the active engagement of our diverse CAB and translation partners, our core research project has five specific aims:

  1. Develop a web-based approach to prepare church committees to implement an evidence-based program, Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN), and promote its availability to churches across the country. CAB members and translation partners will promote the availability of the web-based training and support to diverse churches locally, regionally, and nationally.
  2. Deliver the web-based implementation training and support to churches, and examine factors associated with its adoption. The web-based approach will be delivered using methods similar to an online course. It will include eight training modules and online support consisting of a moderated discussion board and 12 months of materials for use in FAN implementation.
  3. Examine implementation fidelity, factors associated with implementation, and organizational (church) change when church committees trained and supported through a web-based platform deliver FAN. The CFIR will guide the selection of multilevel factors associated with implementation.
  4. Evaluate the costs of hosting and administering the web-based training and support, church costs of training and implementation, and the relationship between church costs and implementation outcomes. Costs will be considered from the perspective of the organization hosting and administering the training as well as from the church committees that participate in web-based implementation training and support and implement the program.
  5. Identify and engage key translation partner(s) to house and administer the web-based implementation training and support to enhance future reach and sustainability. The USC PRC CAB and translation partners representing national faith and health networks will provide substantial input and guidance on this aim.