ObjectivesThis study aims to describe the preliminary development and validation of an instrument to measure the extent that a population health approach was applied in sexual health by public health units in Ontario, Canada.
DesignPreliminary scale development and administration occurred in two phases that included item development and validity testing.
Measurement and sampleTwo phases of development included: (1) using literature and expert input (n = 6) to develop items; and (2) validation of items by content experts (n = 5) and pre-testing (n = 3).
ResultsThe validated scale consisted of 69 items across the eight key elements of a population health approach. 15 out of 35 health units completed the survey, representing 43% of health units. Instrument administration revealed that Focus on the Health of Populations and Address the Determinants of Health and their Interactions were implemented more frequently compared to Collaborate Across Sectors and Levels and Employ Mechanisms for Public Involvement, which were infrequently implemented.
ConclusionThis preliminary scale is a way for sexual health programs to measure the extent that a population health approach is implemented by their organization. Further testing with a broader sample is needed to strengthen generalizability and address reliability.