Your Practicum and Program Reach
By this point in your practice immersion experience, you may have observed that public health organizations and professionals may try to take on too much, too quickly and attempt to reach too large a geographical region. To determine whether a program or intervention is reaching the right people at the right strength, we must estimate the impact of an intervention through evaluations, evidence-based practices, and literature scans.
For this discussion, imagine you are working on a community health intervention to improve fitness and weight loss in an urban neighborhood. As you work on the intervention you must consider the program reach—that is, the percentage of people in the targeted population impacted by the intervention; and the program strength: the degree to which the intervention is likely to change individual and ultimately community behavior. Your options are to build more sidewalks to increase walking in the community or facilitate small walking clubs that meet daily.
- Of the two possible program interventions, which one has high reach but low strength? How did you conclude this?
- Of the two possible program interventions, which one has low reach but high strength? How did you conclude this?
- If you were overseeing this intervention, which would be more important: reach or strength? Why?
- What would be your own example of a public health initiative or intervention with high reach and low strength? How about an initiative or intervention with low reach and high strength? Make sure you state why each initiative or intervention has the specific reach and strength.