CATCH across Texas: Building a model for the diffusion of effective school-based health promotion programs

Jennifer Lynne Conroy, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The impact of health promotion programs is related to both program effectiveness and the extent to which the program is implemented among the target population. The purpose of this dissertation was to describe the development and evaluation of a school-based program diffusion intervention designed to increase the rate of dissemination and adoption of the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health, or CATCH program (recently renamed the Coordinated Approach to Child Health). The first study described the process by which schools across the state of Texas spontaneously began to adopt the CATCH program after it was tested and proven effective in a multi-site randomized efficacy trial. A survey of teachers and administrator representatives of all schools on record that purchased the CATCH program, but were not involved in the efficacy trial, was used to find out who brought CATCH into the schools, how they garnered support for its adoption, why they decided to adopt the program, and what was involved in deciding to adopt. The second study described how the Intervention Mapping framework guided the planning, development and implementation of a program for the diffusion of CATCH. An iterative process was used to integrate theory, literature, the experience of project staff and data from the target population into a meaningful set of program determinants and performance objectives. Proximal program objectives were specified and translated into both media and interpersonal communication strategies for program diffusion. The third study assessed the effectiveness of the diffusion program in a case-comparison design. Three of the twenty Education Service Center regions in Texas were chosen, selected based on similar demographic criteria, and were followed for adoption of the CATCH curriculum. One of these regions received the full media and interpersonal channel intervention; a second received a reduced media-only intervention, and a third received no intervention. Results suggested the use of the interpersonal channels with media follow-up is an effective means to facilitate program dissemination and adoption. The media-alone condition was not effective in facilitating program adoption.

Subject Area

Health education|Public health

Recommended Citation

Conroy, Jennifer Lynne, "CATCH across Texas: Building a model for the diffusion of effective school-based health promotion programs" (2000). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9985994.