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Development and Testing of the Church Environment Audit Tool

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Objectives: In this paper, we describe development and reliability testing of a novel tool to evaluate the physical environment of faith-based settings pertaining to opportunities for physical activity (PA) and healthy eating (HE). Methods: Tool development was a multistage process including a review of similar tools, stakeholder review, expert feedback, and pilot testing. Final tool sections included indoor opportunities for PA, outdoor opportunities for PA, food preparation equipment, kitchen type, food for purchase, beverages for purchase, and media. Two independent audits were completed at 54 churches. Interrater reliability (IRR) was determined with Kappa and percent agreement. Results: Of 218 items, 102 were assessed for IRR and 116 could not be assessed because they were not present at enough churches. Percent agreement for all 102 items was over 80%. For 42 items, the sample was too homogeneous to assess Kappa. Forty-six of the remaining items had Kappas greater than 0.60 (25 items 0.80-1.00; 21 items 0.60-0.79), indicating substantial to almost perfect agreement. Conclusions: The tool proved reliable and efficient for assessing church environments and identifying potential intervention points. Future work can focus on applications within faith-based partnerships to understand how church environments influence diverse health outcomes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC;, Email: [email protected] 2: Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 3: Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 4: Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

Publication date: 01 May 2018

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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