Agency incentives and encouragement by colleagues in local health departments could increase the use of evidence-based programs and policies to prevent and control diabetes, according to new research by the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Researchers surveyed 100 local health departments in Missouri and asked them about their implementation of evidence-based policies.
Nutrition education, increased access to fruit and vegetables, and campaigns to promote physical activity were the policies most cited. Encouragement by their peers along with staff incentives and rewards were positively associated with the implementation of evidence-based policies.
“Local health departments are on the ‘front line’ of public health, and this study demonstrates the important role these organizations can play in implementing diabetes prevention and control initiatives,” said the study’s co-authors, led by Dr. Ross C. Brownson, Bernard Becker Professor at the Brown School. The lead author was Ms. Marissa Zwald.
The study was published August 21 in The Diabetes Educator.