Data analysis and sample size issues in evaluations of community-based health promotion and disease prevention programs: a mixed-model analysis of variance approach

J Clin Epidemiol. 1991;44(7):701-13. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(91)90030-d.


The growing interest in community-based approaches to health promotion and disease prevention (HP/DP) has been accompanied by a growing need to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs. Special issues that arise in these evaluation studies include (1) entire communities are assigned to intervention and control groups, (2) only a small number of communities can usually be studied, (3) the time course of changes in behavior and other outcomes is often of interest, and (4) surveys to measure such changes over time can be conducted with either repeated cross-sectional samples or with longitudinal samples. This paper shows how these issues can be addressed under a mixed-model analysis of variance approach. This approach serves to unify several ideas in the literature on evaluation of community studies, including use of time-series regression and the question of whether the individual or the community should be the unit of analysis. We also describe how the method can be used to estimate sample size requirements, statistical power, or minimum detectable program effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Community Health Services / standards
  • Health Promotion / standards*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Preventive Health Services / standards
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Sampling Studies*