April 9, 2014

CCHE answers burning questions in 2 groundbreaking reports

Our investigators reveal answers to the impacts of HIAs and community-level obesity prevention initiatives

Earlier this spring, Group Health Research Institute’s Center for Community Health and Evaluation (CCHE) answered a burning question about how to influence policies in ways that are better for health. In “Do health impact assessments make a difference?” CCHE’s investigators examine health impact assessments (HIAs).

Do health impact assessments make a difference?

CCHE conducted a three-year evaluation to assess the impact of HIAs in the United States and to identify elements critical for success. The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, included site visits and interviews with 166 practitioners, stakeholders, and decision makers for 23 completed HIAs in 15 states, as well as a Web-based survey of 144 HIA practitioners.

The evaluation brief outlines:

  • The impact of HIAs on decision-making,
  • Other impacts,
  • Lessons about how to increase the likelihood of HIA success,
  • Common barriers, and
  • Opportunities for addressing those barriers.

Community-level obesity prevention initiatives

In the second groundbreaking report issued by our CCHE team, CCHE also presents data-driven conclusions in the spring 2014 issue of National Civic Review about the national trend for community-level obesity prevention initiatives.

Early evidence from community-level initiatives shows they can be effective in changing obesity-related behaviors at the population level. The study presents four key recommendations, centered on:

  • Focusing on youth in schools,
  • Cluster strategies
  • Sustainable strategies, and
  • Logic model evaluation designs.

Read about CCHE’s findings (on Wiley Online Library) to understand the initiatives’ impact have and other lessons.

For more information about GHRI’s Center for Community Health and Evaluation, please visit the CCHE website and read News and Notes from CCHE.