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EFNEP Related Research, Program Evaluation and Outreach
A new, modified set of evaluation tools and techniques for EFNEP will yield assessment data for this federal program that will provide increased credibility. In addition to dietary quality and food related behavior data, program leaders will be able to report non-nutrition outcomes such as increased quality of life indicators. The use of more sensitive evaluation tools should lead to the development of more effective nutrition education materials and teaching methodologies.
Another goal is a better understanding of the influence of education on behavioral change among low-income populations, as well as clearer programmatic and research linkages, connecting science and practice.
2011 Project Description
Development of simpler, more accurate and cost effective measures will evaluate behavior change in EFNEP clientele which will, in turn, promote continual program improvement.
What has the project done so far:
- Completed a survey of EFNEP directors examining the challenges of conducting dietary assessments and submitted a publication about the findings.
- Completed a pilot study to determine the feasibility of using electronic dietary assessments with EFNEP clientele with data analysis underway.
- Drafted the literature review (objective 1) which will form the basis of an NIH grant proposal and identified gaps in research addressing dietary assessment of low income audiences.
- Established a searchable data base of EFNEP literature and published a paper about the data base.
- Recruited successfully graduate students to conduct research.
Improved methods of determining dietary intake of low income adults through examination of dietary intake assessments will provide practitioners with better understanding of impact of the program. More accurate and reliable measures of dietary intake and behavior will improve nutrition education delivery through the EFNEP program. The data base will allow program directors and researchers to build upon existing knowledge to improve the EFNEP program delivery.
Research Needs for Future Impacts:
- Develop and test enhanced Behavior Checklist in the nutrition domain.
- Compare the current dietary assessment methods with the enhanced method.
- Conduct focus groups with clientele to determine which assessment method is more representative of their intake so that we can accurately measure dietary behavior change due to the program.