Theory and delivery of health programming in the community: The Pawtucket Heart Health Program
The Pawtucket Heart Health Program is one of the community studies examining whether population-based efforts to lower cardiovascular risk factors will reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The Pawtucket Heart Health Program intervention is based on a blend of social learning theory, community organization models, community psychology tenets, and diffusion research. This model allows for multifaceted programs that target individuals, groups, organizations, and the entire community to alter their cardiovascular risk through managing blood pressure, lowering blood cholesterol, quitting smoking, increasing fitness, and maintaining desirable weight levels. A dominant feature of the intervention is the emphasis that it places on volunteers for program delivery. The role of volunteers in providing direct services to help citizens lower their blood pressure and lose weight is highlighted to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of these services. In addition, church-based programming which utilizes volunteers to manage and direct programs is also presented as an example of community-based health promotion efforts that promote collective efficacy.