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Am J Public Health. 2007 Oct;97(10):1900-7. Epub 2007 Aug 29.

The effect of disseminating evidence-based interventions that promote physical activity to health departments.

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  • 1Prevention Research Center, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo 63104, USA.



We explored the effect of disseminating evidence-based guidelines that promote physical activity on US health department organizational practices in the United States.


We implemented a quasi-experimental design to examine changes in the dissemination of suggested guidelines to promote physical activity (The Guide to Community Preventive Services) in 8 study states; the remaining states and the Virgin Islands served as the comparison group. Guidelines were disseminated through workshops, ongoing technical assistance, and the distribution of an instructional CD-ROM. The main evaluation tool was a pre- and postdissemination survey administered to state and local health department staffs (baseline n=154; follow-up n=124).


After guidelines were disseminated through workshops, knowledge of and skill in 11 intervention-related characteristics increased from baseline to follow-up. Awareness-related characteristics tended to increase more among local respondents than among state participants. Intervention adoption and implementation showed a pattern of increase among state practitioners but findings were mixed among local respondents.


Our exploratory study provides several dissemination approaches that should be considered by practitioners as they seek to promote physical activity in the populations they serve.

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