The Program Being Evaluated

Prescription for Health was an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Under this initiative, primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs)—groups of ambulatory practices devoted principally to the primary care of patients—developed, tested and evaluated innovative strategies to improve the delivery and effectiveness of health behavior change services in primary care practice. The strategies targeted four health risk behaviors: (1) tobacco use, (2) unhealthy diet, (3) lack of physical activity, and (4) risky alcohol use.

About the Evaluation

Prescription for Health was conducted in two rounds. Round one awarded grants to 17 PBRNs to test the feasibility of implementing the strategies, while round two awarded grants to 10 PBRNs to measure the strategies’ effectiveness and the expenses associated with them. More than a 100 primary care practices from the 10 PBRNs participated in the evaluation.

The evaluation was conducted by Deborah J. Cohen, Principle Investigator, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Summary of Methods

This data collection comprises the data from one of the data collection efforts carried out by the second round: the responses to the Practice Information Form (PIF), a Web-based instrument which captured key organizational attributes of the participating practices. The PIF data were collected at two time points. Baseline data were collected from each practice before the intervention was implemented and follow-up data were collected approximately one year after the start of the intervention.