The reach and effectiveness of SIPsmartER when implemented by rural public health departments: A pilot dissemination and implementation trial to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages

Jamie M. Zoellner, Kathleen J. Porter, Wen You, Paul A. Estabrooks, Katelynn Perzynski, Pamela A. Ray, Eleanor S. Cantrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


SIPsmartER is a theory-based, 6-month, multi-component health literacy intervention shown to improve sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) behaviors among adults in rural, southwest Virginia. The objective of this pilot trial was to understand the reach and effectiveness of SIPsmartER when delivered by existing staff in public health practice settings. This prepost research design was conducted in partnership with four medically underserved southwest Virginia Department of Health (VDH) districts. Validated measures and standardized data collection techniques were used. Analyses included descriptive statistics and multilevel mixed-effects linear regressions models. Of 928 individuals screened, 586 (63%) were eligible and 117 (20% of eligible) enrolled in SIPsmartER (79% retained). The sample was majority female (71%) and white (94%) and had ≤high school education (59%) and an annual income of approximately $12,500. Relative to the county population, the enrolled study sample was representative for age and race, yet underrepresented for men and overrepresented for low income and low educational attainment. Significant improvements from baseline to 6 months were observed for the primary SSB outcome (-403 [confidence interval [CI] = -528, -278] SSB kcals/day) (p < .001). SSB-related attitudes, perceived behavioral control, behavioral intentions, and media literacy also significantly improved (all p < .05). SIPsmartER appears to be promising for VDH and potentially other health departments in medically underserved areas. When compared to the previous effectiveness trial, existing VDH staff achieved similar reach and effectiveness for some, but not all, outcomes. Future work is needed on methods to support health departments in developing strategies to reach new participants and to integrate SIPsmartER into sustained practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-684
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Behavioral research
  • Beverages
  • Medically underserved area
  • Rural communities
  • Vulnerable population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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