Study explores strategies for effective, high-fidelity nutrition education
Sharing research that can help improve educational programs for families, Catalina Aragon, a WSU assistant professor and state leader of the Extension-led Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, leads publication of a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Published in July, Aragon’s paper, “Implementation Science Strategies Promote Fidelity in The Food, Feeding, and Your Family Study,” examined nutrition education programming in Washington state and Colorado, and identified science-based strategies that peer-educators can use to stay true to desired content while promoting strong retention.
Fidelity to content is important because it helps researchers confirm that their interventions are delivered as intended. The team’s study demonstrated that peer-educators can deliver complex interventions with high levels of fidelity when they receive training, monitoring and support, and have clearly defined expectations. Strategies such as classroom observations, scripted curricula, and standardized trainings were found to be effective in promoting fidelity.
Contributing authors include Garry Auld and Susan Baker, Colorado State University; Karina Silva Garcia, Jane Lanigan, and Thomas Power, WSU Department of Human Development; Nilda Micheli and Sheryl Hughes, Baylor School of Medicine; and Karen Barale and Louise Parker, WSU Extension.
The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.