A nation-wide focus on Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) strategies has emerged as a complimentary approach to individual based strategies for obesity prevention. PSE changes are community-based and aim to create environments that facilitate healthy eating and physical activity to support prevention of obesity and related chronic disease. Efforts are often planned and implemented through collaborative efforts with agencies, such as Cooperative Extension and community partners.
Use a previously established survey to determine factors affecting Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Educators’ (OCEE) intentions to use PSE strategies as an approach to address public health issues in local communities.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
The cross-sectional study used a 66-item online survey administered to OCEE working in the areas of Family and Consumer Sciences, SNAP-Ed/EFNEP, 4-H and Agriculture.
Principal component factor analysis with oblique rotation analyzed 52 items describing factors related to use of PSE strategies. Factor loadings >0.05 were retained. Cronbach alpha ≥0.70 was used to determine internal consistency. Frequency analysis of the remaining 14 items described beliefs related to obesity and related chronic disease, demographic and employment characteristics of the responding OCEE.
Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease were identified as community health issues of concern. Extension resources, outcome expectancies of PSE strategies, and networking with community agencies and organizations were the 3 components describing OCEEs’ intention to use PSE to address obesity and related chronic disease (Cronbach alpha >0.88).
Findings from this study provide insight to factors related to OCEEs’ intent to use PSE approaches and reflect Theory of Planned Behavior constructs. The findings will be used to develop a second survey specific to OCEE to identify if intentions differ between groups of educators and providing context for development of PSE training and technical assistance specific to OCEE addressing public health issues using PSE approaches.