A rural community moves closer to sustainable obesity prevention - an exploration of community readiness pre and post a community-based participatory intervention
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jill WhelanJill Whelan, Penny LovePenny Love, L Millar, Steven AllenderSteven Allender, C Morley, Colin BellColin Bell
BACKGROUND: Understanding levels of community readiness can result in prevention efforts that align with communities' ability and capacity for change and, therefore, be more effective and sustainable. Our study aimed to use baseline (pre-intervention) community readiness scores to assist with the development of obesity prevention strategies, and to assess changes in community readiness over time (pre/post- intervention), to provide evidence of intervention impact. METHOD: Our study was located in a rural and remote area of Victoria, Australia. Community readiness was part of a broader obesity prevention intervention designed to create healthier food and physical activity environments through the combination of systems thinking and collaborative community-led solutions. Interviews were conducted using the community readiness to change tool in 2016 (pre) and 2018 (post) with a community representative sample. Baseline data informed the development of community relevant strategies and the pre/post results formed part of the overall evaluation. RESULTS: The tool generated both quantitative and qualitative (quotes) data. A final readiness score was calculated that corresponded to one of the nine stages of readiness. Four of the five domains of the community readiness to change tool showed statistically significant improvements over time (p < 0.05): knowledge of effort, knowledge of issue, community climate, and leadership. The resources domain that did not improve pre/post intervention. CONCLUSION: Community readiness to change interviews, pre- and post- intervention, provided essential information related to the appropriate targeting and pitch of the prevention strategies, as well as providing an overall evaluation of the positive movement in the community's readiness to implement change.