Author ORCID Identifier



Implementing policy, system, and environmental (PSE) changes has several well-known challenges that have been documented in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education’s (SNAP-Ed) comprehensive approach to obesity prevention and reduction. The purpose of the current study was to explore the use of community engagement (CE) as a strategy to address the common challenges experienced in implementing a multi-component community-based program. Phone interviews (N = 7) were conducted with SNAP-Ed educators in Utah using semi-structured interviews. Emergent themes were identified as transcripts were coded independently by two researchers until a high level of agreement was achieved. Four themes emerged from the interviews: barriers to PSE progress, educator CE, the perceived value of using a CE approach to PSE work, and future supports that could increase educators’ ability to use CE when doing PSE work. While effective at eliciting long-term improvements among priority populations, there are several well-documented challenges associated with developing, implementing, and sustaining PSE projects. CE, defined as the process of involving members of a community in the planning, design, implementation, and improvement of a community-based initiative, may be an effective strategy to overcome many of these challenges and lead to long-term PSE changes and improved health outcomes.



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