Health Educ Res. 2022 Sep 23:cyac025. doi: 10.1093/her/cyac025. Online ahead of print.
Faith-based organizations are promising settings for implementation science because they can reach populations bearing a disproportionate burden of chronic disease. This study examined how implementation strategies influenced implementation outcomes in Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) statewide dissemination. Ninety-three (9%) of 985 invited churches enrolled; 91 (98%) and 83 (89%) completed baseline and 12-month assessments. Community Health Advisors trained and provided phone technical assistance to church committees, led by a FAN coordinator. Church committees were charged with developing plans and installing healthy eating (HE) and physical activity (PA) policies, opportunities, messages and pastor support (implementation outcomes). Structural equation modeling examined how implementation strategies influenced implementation outcomes. Nearly all (99%) FAN coordinators and 60% of pastors attended training, 57% of committees submitted program plans and 51%/54% (HE/PA) of committees met ‘every few months’. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) model paths showed positive influences of strategies on implementation outcomes: pastor training on HE and PA pastor support; plan completion on HE and PA messages, PA policies and opportunities as well as FAN committee meetings and committee meetings on HE pastor support, HE policies, PA opportunities and HE and PA messages. This study advances implementation science and provides a model applicable to organizations such as worksites and schools.