Project Title: Touching Hearts and Minds: Using Emotion-Based Messages to Promote Healthy Behaviors
Summary: Targeted to mothers of children birth to three, the primary goal of Touching Hearts and Minds is to develop and validate thirty eating, parenting and physical activity messages that combine relevant, emotional “pulse points” with current nutrition science. Borrowing from techniques used in advertising and marketing, the messages are designed to better connect with WIC families and more effectively promote behavior change. Six pilot programs across Massachusetts, where staff will be trained in emotion-based group facilitation techniques that complement these messages, will distribute the materials and test client and staff acceptance of and satisfaction with this new approach to nutrition education. The project will culminate in the state-wide rollout of the materials and related nutrition education activities and counseling strategies. In addition, the messages and corresponding training materials will be available to nutrition educators nationwide.
Project Title: Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing in a WIC Clinic Setting
Summary: This project implements Motivational Interviewing (MI), an innovative counseling technique, in four local agencies to evaluate its effectiveness in initiating behavior change in WIC clients. The efficacy of MI in the WIC setting will be determined by comparing the differences in outcomes between “usual’ nutrition educational strategies versus Motivational Interviewing techniques. Differences in client behavioral outcomes between “usual” (15 minute) appointment times and extended (30 minute) appointments in eliciting behavioral change will also be evaluated as well as client and staff satisfaction with MI and appointment length. In addition, the project will asses the cost-effectiveness of using MI in the WIC setting including training, implementation, and cost extrapolation at the State level.
Project Title: Increasing Breastfeeding in Osage County
Summary: The goal of Osage Nation’s project, Increasing Breastfeeding in Osage County, is to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates of WIC clients by increasing awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding in the Native American community. WIC staff will receive training on breastfeeding issues and various activities will be conducted to inform WIC clients and their families as well as the community about the benefits of breastfeeding. However, breastfeeding mothers are the main focus of this project. Tools will be developed for nursing mothers to use as reference guides: a video addressing Native American cultural barriers to breastfeeding and a Quick Reference Handbook outlining common breastfeeding problems and solutions.