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The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of how adult participants describe quality of life during or after participation in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) at sites across the United States. The study analyzed success stories submitted by EFNEP staff and participants from sites in nine states from the years 2004 to 2010. A total of 1,057 success stories were analyzed.
The success stories were descriptions of the participants’ experiences with EFNEP. The stories were analyzed by highlighting words, phrases, and/or sentences, and creating a short one to three word codes that would best describe that information. After all of the stories were analyzed, the codes were grouped into themes.
The analysis identified seven themes that describe what quality of life is for adults who have participated in the EFNEP program: increased knowledge, improved overall health, enjoyment and desire to learn, support and confidence, impact on family, a new perspective on health, and positive change. A quality of life evaluation tool was created from the seven themes as a way to start documenting EFNEP’s effect on participant quality of life. The evaluation tool could be administered at program entry and exit and includes five statements that would be rated by participants on a scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The five statements address the themes of enjoyment and desire to learn, support and confidence, impact on family, and new perspective on health.