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“Take Care of Your Heart from the Start”tthh_research_hs

The Teen Take Heart team, in partnership with the Hope Heart Institute, Seattle University College of Nursing, and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is interested in how prevention science based curricula can be used to increase knowledge, enhance positive attitudes (beliefs) and change behaviors in youth from underserved communities in an effort to mitigate risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.

Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of the TTH program on high school students’ knowledge, attitudes (beliefs) and behavioral intentions related to mitigating CV risk factors.

Intervention: Teen Take Heart (TTH) is an evidence-based cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention program targeting high school students (typically tenth graders, 15-16 years of age) at risk for cardiovascular disease. Teen Take Heart seeks to promote health and wellness and mitigate risk factors for cardiovascular (CV) disease through a series of interactive in-class instructional and hands-on, web- and kit-based lessons organized into four learning modules (18 lessons).

Methods: A quasi-experimental longitudinal design will be used to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of TTH on achieving the stated hypotheses and aims. Behavioral intentions are assessed using the Theory of Planned Behavior (see below). Student outcomes will be measured at baseline, immediately following TTH (or equivalent period) and three and six months later. High school students who complete TTH will report at each post program measurement:

1. Greater gains in knowledge about:

H1: anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, nutrition & activity related to CV health,
H2: research related to CV health and illness, and,
H3: the impact of lifestyle and risk behaviors on CV health and illness

 2. Increased positive attitudes (beliefs) about:

H4: their ability to modify individual health practices that put them at risk for CV disease,
H5: the impact of culture, socioeconomic status, race, and gender on CV health and illness, and,
H6: health and science related careers

3. Greater intentions to engage in healthy behaviors as evidenced by:

H7: increased levels of self-reported physical activity,
H8: dietary and lifestyle modifications that reflect healthy choices, and
H9: report of enhanced strategies and outcomes for age appropriate BMI


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Support and funding for the Teen Take Heart Program provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholars Program.          
RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars