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J Health Commun. 2010 Dec;15(8):859-79. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.522225.

Comparison of online and face-to-face dissemination of a theory-based after school nutrition and physical activity training and curriculum.

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  • 1The Sage Colleges, Troy, New York 12180, USA.


This study was conducted to compare two different online delivery methods to train after school program leaders (ASPLs) to implement a nutrition and physical activity curriculum for children to each other and to a face-to-face (FTF) training model. A three-group design was used in which ASPLs from 12 states were randomized to either standard (n = 34) or an enhanced interaction (n = 31) online training, while a FTF group (n = 24) served as comparison. All ASPLs completed training and implemented curriculum lessons over 16 weeks from March to June 2007. Weekly evaluations and pre and post-intervention questionnaires compared number of lessons implemented, subjective ratings of lesson success, and pre and post leader nutrition and physical activity knowledge. Multivariate linear regression analyses were used for among-group comparisons, paired Ttests for within-group knowledge change. Knowledge scores increased significantly (p < .001) within each group. All ASPLs fulfilled the goal of conducting at least 9 lessons, and they rated 64% of lessons successful. After adjustment, knowledge change and success scores did not differ among groups. Implementation was significantly higher for FTF (+2.23 lessons, p = .013) than for enhanced interaction, but not for standard. Online training for ASPLs, such as the standard condition, are viable means of nutrition and physical activity education and program dissemination.

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