Dr. Michelle Kegler is a Professor in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health and Director of the Emory Prevention Research Center which focuses on cancer prevention using a community-based participatory research approach. She also directs the developmental Intervention Development, Dissemination and Implementation shared resource at Winship Cancer Institute. A hallmark of her career is engaging with the public health practice community and using participatory approaches. She conducts intervention research in tobacco control and obesity prevention, and evaluates collaborative community-based health promotion initiatives.
Questions & Answers
The program materials and the coaching call, which involves goal-setting by stage of change, are core elements of the intervention. We delivered the materials via mail at two-week intervals. The delivery method and timing could probably be adapted, although we haven’t tested that. We tried to design the program to work for a range of audiences, as well as smokers and nonsmokers. Additional materials developed for specific populations could be added to one or more of the mailings. Some of the messaging may need to be different for American Indian families given traditional uses of tobacco, and we are hoping to test an adapted version with tribal partners soon.
The program is brief and relatively simple to deliver. In areas with lower smoking rates, the biggest challenge is to find people who allow smoking in the home. Implementing the program with populations that have higher smoking rates or settings with potential to screen large numbers of people facilitate program enrollment.
The most important question is whether participants established a smoke-free home or not. We’ve seen a spillover effect to smoke-free vehicles as well as reductions in cigarettes smoked, so those are also good questions to ask. We have a survey that we are happy to share with people who are interested in implementing and evaluating the program. The survey includes process evaluation questions too.
We currently have funding from NCI to test whether integrating our smoke-free homes program into the 5A’s for tobacco cessation in primary care settings can help people to quit smoking. I’m also co-leading a study in Armenia and Georgia to test whether coalitions can promote smoke-free policy adoption and enforcement. My other studies are testing a healthy eating intervention focused on the home food environment and evaluating a coalition-based health equity initiative in rural Georgia.