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Health Promot Pract. 2007 Oct;8(4):403-14. Epub 2007 May 9.

Formative evaluation of AARP's Active for Life campaign to improve walking and bicycling environments in two cities.

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Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.


AARP conducted a 2.5-year social-marketing campaign to improve physical activity levels among older adults in Richmond, Virginia and Madison, Wisconsin. This article presents formative evaluation findings from the campaign's policy/environmental change component. Evaluation data were abstracted from technical-assistance documentation and telephone interviews. Results include 11 policy and 14 environmental changes attained or in-process by campaign closure. Differences between the cities' results are explained through differences in program implementation (e.g., types of changes planned, formalization of partnerships). Project teams took less time deciding to pursue policy change than environmental change; however, planning the policy activities took longer than planning environmental-change activities. Recommendations for future policy/environmental change interventions focus on the selection of strategies; planning for administrative resources; formalizing partnerships to ensure sustainability of impact; ensuring training and technical assistance; and documenting progress. Similar intervention results may be attainable with a multi-year timeframe, adequate part-time coordination, and committed volunteers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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