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      Assessing community readiness online: a concurrent validation study

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          Abstract

          Background

          Community readiness for facilitation and uptake of interventions can impact the success of community-based prevention efforts. As currently practiced, measuring community readiness can be a resource intensive process, compromising its use in evaluating multisite community-based prevention efforts. The purpose of this study was to develop, test and validate a more efficient online version of an existing community readiness tool and identify potential problems in completing assessments. This study was conducted in the context of a complex community-based childhood obesity prevention program in South Australia.

          Methods

          Following pre-testing, an online version of the community readiness tool was created, wherein respondents, with detailed knowledge of their community and prevention efforts, rated their communities on five anchored rating scales (Knowledge of Efforts, Leadership, Knowledge of the Issue, Community Climate, and Resources). Respondents completed the standard, over-the-phone community readiness interview (“gold standard”) and the new online survey. Paired t-test, St. Laurent’s correlation coefficient and intra-class correlation (ICC) were used to determine the validity of the online tool. Contact summary forms were completed after each interview to capture interview quality.

          Results

          Twenty-five respondents completed both assessments. There was a statistically significant difference in the overall community readiness scores between the two methods (paired t-test p = 0.03); online scores were consistently higher than interview scores. St. Laurent’s correlation of 0.58 (95 % CI 0.42–0.73) was moderate; the ICC of 0.65 (95 % CI 0.35–0.83) was good. Only for the leadership and resources dimensions was there no statistically significant difference between the scores from the two methods ( p = 0.61, p = 0.08 respectively). St Laurent’s correlation (r = 0.83, 95 % CI 0.71–0.92) and the ICC (0.78, 95 % CI 0.57–0.90) were excellent for leadership. Qualitative results from the standard interview method suggest that some respondents felt reluctant to answer questions on behalf of other community members. This may have impacted their self-selected ratings and/or responses to questions during the interview.

          Conclusions

          Concurrent validity for the online method was supported for the Leadership dimension only. However, the online method holds promise as it reduces time and resource burden, allowing for a quicker return of results to the community to inform program planning, implementation and evaluations to improve community health.

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          Most cited references30

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          Stages and processes of self-change of smoking: toward an integrative model of change.

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            A community intervention reduces BMI z-score in children: Shape Up Somerville first year results.

            The objective was to test the hypothesis that a community-based environmental change intervention could prevent weight gain in young children (7.6 +/- 1.0 years). A non-randomized controlled trial was conducted in three culturally diverse urban cities in Massachusetts. Somerville was the intervention community; two socio-demographically-matched cities were control communities. Children (n = 1178) in grades 1 to 3 attending public elementary schools participated in an intervention designed to bring the energy equation into balance by increasing physical activity options and availability of healthful foods within the before-, during-, after-school, home, and community environments. Many groups and individuals within the community (including children, parents, teachers, school food service providers, city departments, policy makers, healthcare providers, before- and after-school programs, restaurants, and the media) were engaged in the intervention. The main outcome measure was change in BMI z-score. At baseline, 44% (n = 385), 36% (n = 561), and 43% (n = 232) of children were above the 85th percentile for BMI z-score in the intervention and the two control communities, respectively. In the intervention community, BMI z-score decreased by -0.1005 (p = 0.001, 95% confidence interval, -0.1151 to -0.0859) compared with children in the control communities after controlling for baseline covariates. A community-based environmental change intervention decreased BMI z-score in children at high risk for obesity. These results are significant given the obesigenic environmental backdrop against which the intervention occurred. This model demonstrates promise for communities throughout the country confronted with escalating childhood obesity rates.
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              Community readiness: Research to practice

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Margaret.Cargo@unisa.edu.au
                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-2458
                2 July 2015
                2 July 2015
                2015
                : 15
                Affiliations
                [ ]School of Population Health, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
                [ ]Department of Medicine, St. Vincent’s Hospital, The University of Melbourne, Fitzroy, Australia
                [ ]South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, Australia
                [ ]College of Natural Sciences, Tri-Ethnic Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA
                Article
                1953
                10.1186/s12889-015-1953-5
                4489112
                26135737
                8086437e-ba46-45d7-bbc6-565aa6c76671
                © Kostadinov et al. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2015

                Public health
                community readiness,concurrent validation,community-based interventions,obesity prevention

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