Preliminary instrument development to measure implementing a population health approach in sexual health Academic Article uri icon

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  • Objectives

    This 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.


    Preliminary scale development and administration occurred in two phases that included item development and validity testing.

    Measurement and sample

    Two 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).


    The 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.


    This 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.

publication date

  • November 2022