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Rural Health Information Hub

Promising Interventions for Healthcare Providers

Interventions showing meaningful, plausible positive health or behavioral outcomes, and policy, environment, or economic impacts based on evidence from published or unpublished evaluation studies or exploratory evaluations.

  • Program name: Pounds Off with Empowerment (POWER)
    Change type: Individual
    Description: Participants were assigned to one of three study interventions:
    • Intensive-lifestyle program – based on Diabetes Prevention Program. Participants met regularly with a nutritionist for sessions on nutrition, physical activity
    • Reimbursable-lifestyle program – condensed version of the intensive-lifestyle program. Time determined by number of hours reimbursed annually by Medicare for diabetes education in South Carolina for individuals recently diagnosed with diabetes
    • Usual-care – a study in which a nutritionist conducted one session at the beginning of the twelve-month period
    Demonstrated Success
    • Tested in rural setting
    • Audience tested: 152 individuals living in medically underserved rural communities
    • At least 45 years old, diagnosed with diabetes, high BMI
    • 12-month randomized clinical trial compared two intervention cohorts to usual care cohort
    • Intensive lifestyle participants had:
      • Greater weight loss at 6 months
      • Greater proportion had lost about 4.5 pounds at 12 months
    • Reimbursable lifestyle had no differences in weight change found between intervention and control
  • Program name: SHAPEDOWN
    Change type: Individual
    Description: An obesity intervention for adolescents. Participants meet weekly for ten, 2.5 hour, weekly group meetings that include: voluntary weigh-in, leader-facilitated interaction, and an exercise period. Sessions can be delivered individually. Two sessions provide parents with strategies to support adolescents’ weight loss efforts.
    (Assessment at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 15 months post-intervention).
    Demonstrated Success
    • Tested in rural setting
    • Audience tested: 66 adolescents from four sites (rural health department, rural nutrition practice, suburban medical clinic, urban medical center)
    • At three and 15 months, intervention group improved in weight, weight-related behavior, self-esteem, knowledge, depression
    • Control group improved in self-esteem only
  • Program name: Little by Little
    Change type: Individual
    Description: A single-use intervention guided by CD-ROM that can be used alone or with reminders. Includes two questionnaires – one on fruit and vegetable intake (10-item questionnaire) and one on fat and snack intake (15-item questionnaire). Provides information on need for change, strategies for improving diet, and suggestions for goals.
    Demonstrated Success
    • Audience tested: 481 low-income African-American and non-Hispanic White women from 40-65 years old
    • Randomized controlled trial; 24-hour recall on dietary intake, baseline and two months after CD-ROM
    • Intervention with and without reminder calls increased fruit and vegetable consumption more than control group
  • Program Name: StrongWomen-Healthy Hearts
    Change Type: Individual
    Description: The program targets overweight and obese middle-aged women at risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants engage in a one-hour class, 2 days per week, over 12 weeks. Participants engage in physical activity over the 12 weeks, gradually increasing to 30 minutes of aerobic activity. There is a dietary training component to help participants modify their diet and improve weight control.
    Demonstrated Success
    • Compared with the control group, participants in the intervention group had a significant decrease in body weight (a mean loss of 2.1 kg), waist circumference (-2.3 in), and energy intake (-390 kcal/day)
    • Participants showed an increase in activity (+1637 steps/day, and an increase in self-efficacy for dietary and physical activity behaviors.
  • Program Name: TeleFIT
    Change Type: Individual, adolescents
    Description: A telemedicine approach for providing obesity treatment services to children and their families. The program placed telemonitors within four existing clinics (Brenner Families in Training or Brenner FIT) to increase access to clinic services.
    Demonstrated Success

    This outreach program increased access to obesity treatment services. The number of families from rural counties that participated in TeleFIT increased from 5 to 14 in the first year of the program. In the second year, an additional 16 families participated. Over the course of the study, the number of rural families participating among the Brenner FIT patient population increased from 7% to 14%.

  • Program Name: Vtrim - Your Online Partner for Healthy Weight
    Change Type: Individual
    Description: The Vtrim is a 12-week, online weight loss program. Courses are led by a therapist within a private online chat room and include about 15 to 20 individuals. Each week features topics related to food attitudes and behaviors and behavior modification lessons, such as "Eating in Social Situations."
    Demonstrated Success
    • Vtrim group lost significantly more weight than the control group at 6 months and maintained a greater loss at 12 months.
    • More participants in the Vtrim group maintained a 5% weight loss goal (65% vs. 37.5%; p = 0.01) at 12 months.
  • Program name: New Moves
    Change type: Individual
    Description: This school-based intervention is intended for adolescent girls enrolled in a girls-only physical education class. In addition to the physical education component of the class, this intervention includes education about healthy foods, addresses how to avoid unhealthy weight-related activities, and provides motivational individual coaching.
    Demonstrated Success
    • Compared to the control group, the intervention group showed a significant decrease in sedentary activity
    • Intervention group showed a significant decrease in unhealthy eating behaviors
    • Intervention group showed a significant increase in body satisfaction