Evaluation Resources

Evaluation Resources

The Physical Activity and Nutrition Networks Wales have developed an  evaluation flowchart to aid planning of nutrition and physical activity initiatives. This provides a brief overview of the evaluation process. It has been developed after reading several comprehensive evaluation guides (see useful links). Please consult these resources for further general information about evaluation.

Useful Links

For more specific information about methods and tools for nutrition and physical activity then the Medical Research Council’s diet and physical activity (DAPA) measurement toolkit is a comprehensive resource.

Diet and Physical Activity Measurement (DAPA) Toolkit

The DAPA Toolkit is a comprehensive resource of methods for researchers, students and practitioners interested in measuring diet and physical activity. It has been developed by the Medical Research Council. The online toolkit reviews common diet and physical activity assessment methods with relevant links. There are interactive decision matricies to help select suitable methods. In addition a forum provides the opportunity to exchange ideas, share knowledge and seek advice from others. This toolkit is useful to choose the most appropriate assessment method and highlights practical considerations. The toolkit is available at www.dapa-toolkit.mrc.ac.uk.

Review of Dietary Assessment Methods in the UK

The National Obesity Observatory has produced a report that provides a descriptive summary of tools to measure dietary intake and dietary behaviours.
The National Obesity Observatory (England) analyses, signposts and reports on obesity and related surveillance data, developing tools, and producing guidance around evaluation.
The tools to measure dietary intake can help provide indicators of nutritional status – either to measure trends in populations, or to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.

Technical details are provided on the reliability and validity of these tools where available and it can be used to allow public health practitioners to assess which tool may be most appropriate. A supplement provides complete copies of those questionnaires that are publicly available although permissions for questionnaire use may still be required. Dietary Assessment Tools from the UK and outside the UK are discussed.

For more information visit the National Obesity Observatory Website.

Evaluation Resources for Community Food Projects

The Health Development Agency (HDA) has developed a training programme for coordinators of the 5 A DAY fruit and vegetable community initiatives. In developing the training programme, the HDA perceived a need for support in identifying appropriate evaluation toolkits and validated indicators for use by community food projects.

Evaluating Sport and Physical Activity Interventions A guide for practitioners 

Developed by Sport England to provide guidance on collecting information on a wide range of sports related projects.

Collection of Resources on Evaluation – CoRE

The aim of NOO’s Collection of Resources on Evaluation (CoRE) is to provide information and resources to support practitioners with an interest in the evaluation of interventions related to obesity, overweight, underweight and their determinants.
CoRE is divided into the following sections:
• Standard Evaluation Framework
• Evaluation guidance
• Evaluation reports
• Evaluation websites.

Evaluation Tools

Medical Outcome Short-Form General Health Survey (SF-36)

Is a measure of general health status which has been widely tested in a range of conditions. It has been developed to measure quality of life; it has 36 questions and yields an 8-scale health profile based on physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role emotional, mental health, and health transition as well as summary measures of health-related quality of life.

In comparison SF12 is a shorter 1 page survey which has been shown to yield summary physical and mental health outcome scores that are interchangeable with those from the SF-36 in both general and specific populations. It reproduces the eight-scale profile with fewer levels than SF-36 scales and yields less precise scores. For large group studies, these differences are not as important, because confidence intervals for group averages in health scores are largely determined by sample size.

The advantages of these forms are that they are easy to administer and have been widely researched being found to yield reliable results across a range of populations.

However, the data produced is self reported and there may be lower levels of completion in some groups. A trained administrator with an understanding of the screening and data processing is advised as the analysis can be complex particularly when large numbers of people are involved. Many academic institutions have the expertise and the necessary statistical support packages though this is a service that if available, is likely to incur administration costs.

These forms are free and available under license from The Medical Outcomes Trust (MOT), Health Assessment Lab (HAL) and QualityMetric Incorporated, co-copyright holders of the SF-36 and SF-12 Health Surveys. To obtain a license to use the forms it is necessary to complete and submit the License Application Form available from the website. In addition, these instruments have a number of versions and it is important to use the appropriate analysis tool for the right version. There are books available that will be necessary to guide both the application and analysis of the tool.

International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)

The purpose of the International Physical Activity Questionnaires (IPAQ) is to provide a set of well-developed instruments that can be used internationally to obtain comparable estimates of physical activity. There are two versions of the questionnaire. The short version is suitable for use in national and regional surveillance systems and the long version provides more detailed information often required in research work or for evaluation purposes.

The questionnaires can be downloaded from www.ipaq.ki.se/downloads.htm.

Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q)

This questionnaire is a simple screening tool to identify individuals who should not participate in physical activity without checking with their doctor. The questionnaire requires a yes/no response to a series of questions concerning health risks. This questionnaire was developed in Canada and has been widely used.

It can be downloaded from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology website .

Food and Activities Diary

A food and activity diary is a self reported documentation of food intake and physical activity levels over a period of several days, it is often useful to document a week day and a weekend day. Keeping a diary can help to raise an individuals awareness of their current behaviour.

A sample diary is available from the British Dietetic Association Weightwise Website.

Food Frequency Questionnaires

A Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) is usually self-administered and designed to be easy to complete. FFQ’s usually comprise a list of foods or food groups, and a corresponding frequency response; they often rely on assumptions regarding portion size or contain an option to estimate usual portion sizes. They are each designed to gain information about specific aspects of the diet and will need to be detailed for that specific aspect or outcome of the intervention. Analysis can be complex particularly when large numbers of people are involved.

For further information about the use of food frequency questionnaires access

Cade, J., Thompson, R., Burley, V. and Warm, D. (2001). Development, validation and utilisation of food-frequency questionnaires – a review. Public Health Nutrition 5(4), 567–587.

FACET Questionnaire

The FACET questionnaire is a short dietary/attitude questionnaire that measures intakes of fruit and vegetables before and after community interventions. Information about the FACET Tool (Five a Day Community Evaluation Tool) is available from Ashfield-Watt, P.A.L., Welch, A.A., Godward, S. and Bingham, S.A. (2005). Effect of a pilot community intervention on fruit and vegetable intakes: use of FACET (Five-a-day Community Evaluation Tool). Public Health Nutrition: 10(7), 671–680.

Standard Evaluation Framework for Weight Management Interventions

The National Obesity Observatory for England has developed a standard evaluation framework (SEF) to support high quality, consistent evaluation of weight management interventions in order to increase the evidence base.

The National Obesity Observatory was established to provide a single point of contact in England for wide ranging authoritative information on data and evidence related to obesity, overweight, underweight and their determinants. The observatory works with a range of organisations and supports policy makers and practitioners involved in obesity and related issues. The observatory received core funding from the Department of Health in April 2008 as part of the Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives strategy.

In this document, the term weight management intervention refers to any intervention that sets out to manage or reduce body weight, including primary prevention. This includes projects focusing on diet, physical activity, or both. It is intended to be applicable to a range of approaches including interventions conducted with individuals, groups, and in clinical or community settings.

The SEF outlines the basic principles of evaluating weight management interventions and the key evaluation challenges. Furthermore, it presents a simple table showing the key essential and desirable criteria recommended for evaluating weight management interventions with a guide to using the table, and an explanation of each criterion.

For more information or to download the standard evaluation framework visit the National Obesity Observatory Website.

Evaluation data collection tool –

This tool will assist practitioners to collect standardised summary data from any weight management, diet or physical activity intervention. The tool is an on-line questionnaire and is designed to collect evaluation data from interventions using the NOO Standard Evaluation Framework (SEF), however it can be used to collect data from any weight management, diet or physical activity intervention. The on-line questionnaire provides an audit record of the intervention. It will also enable the sharing of practice and learning from other interventions carried out across the country.

Standard Evaluation Framework for Breastfeeding Interventions

This guidance supports the development of simple but effective evaluation processes for breastfeeding interventions. It is intended to support those who have little or no experience of evaluation and to be used along side the Standard Evaluation Framework for Weight Management Interventions developed by the National Obesity Observatory. It has been developed by the South West Public Health Observatory. For more information please visit www.healthyweight4children.org.uk.

A Toolkit for the Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Exercise Referral Schemes

This guide outlines the significance of evaluating exercise referral schemes and the importance of selecting an appropriate evaluation design. It provides helpful hints on how to improve the evaluation of exercise referral schemes and includes a checklist for evaluating schemes.

Green Exercise – ‘The Natural Health Service’ Evaluation Toolkit Guidance

The Green Exercise Partnership (BTCV Cymru, Sustrans Cymru & Groundwork Wales) has developed evaluation guidance and toolkit which is designed to enable volunteers, project participants and project leaders to effectively evaluate projects and programmes.

The toolkit is designed to capture the health, wellbeing and physical activity impacts of green exercise projects, programmes and activities.

The Toolkit is also designed to help people understand how they can engage with the natural environment and promote a healthier lifestyle. The Toolkit can be used to evaluate projects, programmes and activities that engage with the least active sections of population and where access to the natural environment is restricted in the attempt to reduce health inequalities.

Download the Green Exercise Evaluation Toolkit Guidance
 Download the Green Exercise Evaluation Toolkit 

For more information please contact David Brooks, Health Challenge Wales Development Officer at Groundwork Wales on 01443 845033.

Guide to Outdoor Education Research and Evaluation

This website provides resources about outdoor education and related programs and aims to enhance the quality and accessibility of philosophy, theory, research and evaluation about outdoor, experiential education and related programs.