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Nutrition and Food Sciences


Background: Involving groups of community stakeholders (e.g., steering committees) to lead community-wide health interventions appears to support multiple outcomes ranging from policy and systems change to individual biology. While numerous tools are available to measure stakeholder characteristics, many lack detail on reliability and validity, are not context specific, and may not be sensitive enough to capture change over time. This study describes the development and reliability of a novel survey to measure Stakeholder-driven Community Diffusion via assessment of stakeholders’ social networks, knowledge, and engagement about childhood obesity prevention.

Methods: This study was completed in three phases. Phase 1 included conceptualization and online survey development through literature reviews and expert input. Phase 2 included a retrospective study with stakeholders from two completed whole-of-community interventions. Between May–October 2015, 21 stakeholders from the Shape Up Somerville and Romp & Chomp interventions recalled their social networks, knowledge, and engagement pre-post intervention. We also assessed one-week test-retest reliability of knowledge and engagement survey modules among Shape Up Somerville respondents. Phase 3 included survey modifications and a second prospective reliability assessment. Test-retest reliability was assessed in May 2016 among 13 stakeholders involved in ongoing interventions in Victoria, Australia.

Results: In Phase 1, we developed a survey with 7, 20 and 50 items for the social networks, knowledge, and engagement survey modules, respectively. In the Phase 2 retrospective study, Shape Up Somerville and Romp & Chomp networks included 99 and 54 individuals. Pre-post Shape Up Somerville and Romp & Chomp mean knowledge scores increased by 3.5 points (95% CI: 0.35–6.72) and (− 0.42–7.42). Engagement scores did not change significantly (Shape Up Somerville: 1.1 points (− 0.55–2.73); Romp & Chomp: 0.7 points (− 0.43–1.73)). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for knowledge and engagement were 0.88 (0.67–0.97) and 0.97 (0.89–0.99). In Phase 3, the modified knowledge and engagement survey modules included 18 and 25 items, respectively. Knowledge and engagement ICCs were 0.84 (0.62–0.95) and 0.58 (0.23–0.86).

Conclusions: The survey measures upstream stakeholder properties—social networks, knowledge, and engagement—with good test-retest reliability. Future research related to Stakeholder-driven Community Diffusion should focus on prospective change and survey validation for intervention effectiveness.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.