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A questionnaire assessment of nutrition knowledge – validity and reliability issues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2007

AS Anderson*
Affiliation:
Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, Department of Medicine, Ninewells Medical School, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK
A Bell
Affiliation:
Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, Department of Medicine, Ninewells Medical School, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK
A Adamson
Affiliation:
Human Nutrition Research Centre, University of Newcastle, Wellcome Laboratories, The Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4LP, UK
P Moynihan
Affiliation:
Human Nutrition Research Centre, University of Newcastle, Wellcome Laboratories, The Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4LP, UK
*
*Corresponding author: Email a.s.anderson@dundee.ac.uk
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Abstract

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Objective:

This study describes an evaluation of validity and reliability measures in a questionnaire designed to assess knowledge of applied nutrition in children participating in an after-school care dietary intervention programme being undertaken in an area of high social disadvantage.

Design:

Three domains were assessed: Knowledge of Applied Nutrition (KN), Knowledge of Food Preparation (KP) and Perceived Confidence in Cooking Skills (PC). Four pilot studies were undertaken to determine item reliability, test–retest reliability, discrimination and difficulty indices, and content, cognitive and face validity.

Setting:

Primary schools in Dundee, Scotland and Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Subjects:

Ninety-eight children aged 11 years.

Results:

The final instrument comprised 36 questions (18 KN items, 9 KP items and 9 PC items) presented on four sides of paper, which could be self-completed in less than 15 minutes. Question formatting included open and closed structures (KP) and multiple choice (KN and PC) items. All knowledge questions could be answered correctly by 5 to 95% of the target population, with discrimination scores ranging from 0.06 to 0.83. Retest reliability scores were significant (KN 0.458, P>0.001; KP 0.577, P>0.001; PC 0.381, P>0.001) and internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha) of each component was also significant.

Conclusion:

The test meets basic psychometric criteria for reliability and validity and forms a suitable instrument for measuring changes associated with intervention work aimed at improving food and dietary knowledge.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © CABI Publishing 2002

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