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Pawtucket Heart Health Program: the process of stimulating community change

The Pawtucket Heart Health Program (PHHP) is a community-based research and demonstration project in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention located in the United States. Targeted risk factors include high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, obesity and sedentary living. Evaluation methods included biennial household risk factor surveys in the education and comparison communities, morbidity and mortality surveillance in hospitals serving each community, and both formative evaluation and process tracking. Intervention methods are theoretically derived from social learning theory and seek to motivate, enable and maintain individual behavior change+ADs- modify social networks+ADs- and introduce environmental change in organizations and normative shifts in the community in ways that reduce the prevalence of CVD risk factors. The intervention strategy began as an organization-based model, and has evolved into a community-wide effort in which marketing research tools and techniques are employed. In the past 4 years, over 40,000 individual contacts have been made with PHHP programs, including 1,260 persons who have volunteered their time to deliver risk factor programs


Lefebvre, R., Lasater, TM., Assaf, AR., & Carleton, RA. (1988). Pawtucket Heart Health Program: the process of stimulating community change. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care. Supplement, 1, 31-37.