Community Readiness Model for Prevention Planning: Addressing Childhood Obesity in American Indian Reservation Communities

Kari Jo Harris, Blakely Brown, Lindsey Shankle, Michael Tryon, Maja Pedersen, Sofia Kehaulani Panarella, Gyda Swaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: The community readiness model (CRM) is a stage-matched assessment protocol to assess community readiness to address a public health issue. To identify appropriate, culturally sensitive, and community-specific intervention strategies for preventing obesity in children, researchers, and community members formed a partnership to address childhood obesity within one American Indian Reservation. Methods: The CRM guided 30 interviews in five communities to direct the team’s efforts in addressing obesity among children residing on the reservation. Interviews were scored across six dimensions on an anchored scale of one through nine; scores were then averaged to determine an overall readiness score for each community. A thematic analysis of interview responses aided in interpretation of the readiness scores and identified areas for prevention planning and intervention development. Results: The overall community readiness score for the communities was 2.9 (SD = 0.5), which falls between 2 (denial/resistance) and 3 (vague awareness) on the anchored rating scale. The thematic analysis resulted in a hierarchal classification scheme with six broad themes that corresponded to the CRM dimensions and 13 sub-themes. Discussion: The low readiness scores directed the team to implement corresponding strategies to increase awareness, while the thematic analysis suggested that action-based approaches might also be appropriate. The narrow range of scores suggest that community-wide assessments may be sufficient unless specific information is needed for each region of the community. The CRM may be an effective way to assess community readiness to address childhood obesity on an American Indian Reservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1156
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • American Indian
  • Childhood obesity
  • Community Readiness Model
  • Community-based participatory research


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