|Newton, jr, Robert|
Submitted to: American Journal of Health Promotion
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2010
Publication Date: 7/25/2011
Citation: Newton, Jr, R.E., Thomson, J.L., Rau, K., Duhe, S., Sample, A., Singleton, N., Anton, S.D., Weber, L.S., Williamson, D. 2011. Psychometric characteristics of process evaluation measures for a school-based childhood obesity prevention study: Louisiana Health. American Journal of Health Promotion. 25(6):417-421. Interpretive Summary: Careful judgment of school-based programs is necessary to determine if programs were delivered as intended, and to what extent. Just such an assessment was performed for the Louisiana Health (LA Health) study. LA Health is a childhood obesity prevention study for middle school children that targeted physical education, classroom education, food service management, and school nutrition. Questionnaires and surveys were used to evaluate whether or not the program was being administered as intended. Results indicated that the program was being delivered as intended, although, improvements could be made. The questionnaires and surveys used for LA Health could be used to evaluate other school-based programs designed to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and maintain healthy weight.
Technical Abstract: Process evaluations of large-scale school based programs are necessary to aid in the interpretation of the outcome data. The Louisiana Health (LA Health) study is a multi-component childhood obesity prevention study for middle school children. The Physical Education (PEQ), Intervention (IQ), and Food Service Manager (FSMQ) questionnaires, and the Primary Prevention Classroom (PPCO) and School Nutrition Environment (SNEO) observations were developed as process evaluation measures. The PEQ was found to have low inter-rater reliability (.25), and was the only process measure deemed too unreliable for use in the LA Health study. The inter-rater reliability and internal consistency, respectively, for the IQ (.75 & .89), FSMQ (.94 & .54), PPCO (.89 & .61), and SNEO (.89 & .73) was found to be acceptable. Score differences on questionnaires and observations between study groups after the first four months of the study were largely in the expected direction. In summary, four process evaluation measures were found to be sufficiently reliable and valid for assessing the delivery of various aspects of a school-based obesity prevention program. These process measures could be modified to evaluate the delivery of other school-based interventions designed to improve nutrition, physical activity, and maintenance of healthy body weight.