Introduction: The Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (CORD) project links public health and primary care interventions in three projects described in detail in accompanying articles in this issue of Childhood Obesity. This article describes a comprehensive evaluation plan to determine the extent to which the CORD model is associated with changes in behavior, body weight, BMI, quality of life, and healthcare satisfaction in children 2-12 years of age.
Design/methods: The CORD Evaluation Center (EC-CORD) will analyze the pooled data from three independent demonstration projects that each integrate public health and primary care childhood obesity interventions. An extensive set of common measures at the family, facility, and community levels were defined by consensus among the CORD projects and EC-CORD. Process evaluation will assess reach, dose delivered, and fidelity of intervention components. Impact evaluation will use a mixed linear models approach to account for heterogeneity among project-site populations and interventions. Sustainability evaluation will assess the potential for replicability, continuation of benefits beyond the funding period, institutionalization of the intervention activities, and community capacity to support ongoing program delivery. Finally, cost analyses will assess how much benefit can potentially be gained per dollar invested in programs based on the CORD model.
Conclusions: The keys to combining and analyzing data across multiple projects include the CORD model framework and common measures for the behavioral and health outcomes along with important covariates at the individual, setting, and community levels. The overall objective of the comprehensive evaluation will develop evidence-based recommendations for replicating and disseminating community-wide, integrated public health and primary care programs based on the CORD model.