236207 Reliability of the food retail outlet survey tool (FROST) for measuring consumer nutrition environment

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:48 AM

Akiko S. Hosler, PhD , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Pornchanok Kheocha-on , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
INTRODUCTION: Despite the increase in the volume of food environment research, there is a general lack of reliable measurement tools. This study presents the reliability assessment of a tool for measuring consumer nutrition environment in urban food stores. METHODS: Racially diverse downtown neighborhoods in Albany, NY were the setting. A total of 123 food stores were identified through multiple lists and ground-truthing. A sample of 39 food stores was randomly selected. The Food Retail Outlet Survey Tool (FROST) was developed to quickly assess the availability (presence) of selected food and non-food items, placement, physical characteristics of the store, policy implementation, and advertisements on outside windows. For in-store items, agreement of observations between experienced and lightly trained surveyors was assessed. For window advertisement assessments, inter-method agreement (on-site sketch vs. digital photo), and inter-rater agreement (both on-site) among lightly-trained surveyors were evaluated. RESULTS: Twenty-seven of the 47 in-store items had 100% agreement. The Prevalence-Adjusted Bias-Adjusted Kappa indicated excellent agreement (≥0.90) on all items, except aisle width (0.74) and fresh vegetables (0.85). The store type (non-convenience store), the order of visits (first half), and the time to complete survey (>10 minutes) were associated with lower reliability in these two items. Both the inter-method and inter-rater agreements for window advertisements were uniformly high (Interclass Correlation Coefficients ranged 0.94 to 1.00), indicating high reliability. DISCUSSION: The FROST is a reliable tool and can be effectively used by an individual who attended a 30 minute group briefing and practiced with 3-4 stores.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe reasons why tested measurement tools are needed for food environment assessment studies. Formulate the process to develop an in-store food environment measurement tool that will answer his/her research question. Evaluate inter-rater and inter-method reliability of a measurement tool using appropriate statistical methods. Explain strengths and limitations of the Food Retail Outlet Survey Tool (FROST).

Keywords: Nutrition, Methodology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a graduate student of epidemiology representing Dr. Hosler's study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.