Best practices in implementing lifestyle interventions in the WISEWOMAN program: adaptable strategies for public health programs

Am J Health Promot. 2008 May-Jun;22(5):322-8. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.22.5.322.


Purpose: Describe best practices for implementing a variety of lifestyle interventions targeting cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Approach: A mixed-methods approach was used to collect and analyze data. The study was guided by the RE-AIM framework.

Setting: Selected Well-Integrated Screening and Intervention for Women Across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) projects funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Participants: Five of the 15 currently operating WISEWOMAN projects were selected for study. Selection was based on availability of quantitative performance data, which were used to identify two high-performing and one low-performing sites within each project.

Method: Qualitative data collection included a review of program materials; telephone interviews with federal, project, and local staff, and site visits. Site visits involved interviews with staff observations of the lifestyle intervention, and discussions with focus groups of participants. Analysis involved writing site reports, developing theme tables, identifying practices of interest, and applying an algorithm to identify best practices.

Results: Eighty-seven best practices were identified. We present a subset of 31 practices applicable to other public health programs and for which differences in how high- and low-performing sites used the practices were identified.

Discussion: Many of the best practices identified are applicable to broader audiences. Practitioners interested in strategies to recruit, engage, and retain participants and to facilitate behavior change can learn from these practices.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Public Health Practice*