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A BDI Public Health Logic Model Approach to Recreation Programming

Kristina R. Anderson, Oghenekaro Omodior



The design and delivery of recreation programs is a core function of the leisure profession. However, recognition of the impact of recreation programming from outside the field, particularly public health, has not always been reciprocated due to differences in how and where scholarly work is published as well as historic differences in the study and promotion of leisure experiences across these two fields. To improve program design, this paper will propose and illustrate the application of a public health conceptual framework for adoption in recreation programming: The Behavior-Determinant-Intervention (BDI) logic model.

The BDI logic model aides in development of evidence-based health promotion interventions through a systemic 4-step process. The first step requires delineation of a specific public health outcome to be achieved. In the second step, the relevant individual health behaviors that influence attainment of the health outcome are identified. Then, the determinants of those behaviors are outlined; these include both risk and protective factors that influence adoption of the behaviors listed in Step 2. Finally, interventions (e.g., recreation programs) that address the determinants and behaviors in Steps 3 and 4 are specified. To maintain fidelity to the BDI logic model planning process, sound supporting evidence should be cited at each of the four steps for each outcome, behavior, determinant, and intervention. Ultimately, the completion of a BDI logic model results in the development of a leisure-based intervention that should meaningfully impact an important public health outcome.

In our example, we demonstrate the rigorous process of using the BDI logic model by designing a hypothetical recreation-based program that seeks to meaningfully reduce stress within a college student population. Our process reveals that the BDI logic model can be applied within recreation and leisure contexts to address important public health outcomes. By adopting the model, recreation practitioners and researchers can then apply it to their own contexts and develop programs that make meaningful progress on their communities’ most pressing public health problems. The application of the BDI logic model also provides an opportunity for collaboration and communication with colleagues in the field of public health through engaging in shared program-planning processes. 

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Recreation programming; health promotion; public health; Behavior Determinant Intervention logic model; program evaluation

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