Test-retest reliability of a questionnaire measuring perceptions of neighborhood food environment

Xiaoguang Ma, Timothy L. Barnes, Darcy A. Freedman, Bethany A. Bell, Natalie Colabianchi, Angela D. Liese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


There is a lack of validated and reliable instruments on perception of the food environment, in particular for rural environments. We estimated the test-retest reliability of a questionnaire assessing perceptions of the food environment. A total of 101 primary food shoppers in South Carolina were interviewed by phone to assess their perceptions of the food environment and presence of different food outlet types in their neighborhood. The survey was repeated approximately one month after the initial administration. The intra-class correlation (ICC) and Phi coefficient are reported as measures of reliability. The majority of questions on perceptions of the neighborhood food environment appear highly reliable (ICCs range from 0.55 to 0.71), including the 3-item scale on healthy food availability (ICC 0.71). Compared to participants in rural areas, those in urban areas demonstrated better reliability for questions on opportunities to purchase fast food and perceived presence of a supercenter. More research is needed to evaluate potential rural-urban differences in reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalHealth and Place
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by Grant R21CA132133-02S1 from the National Cancer Institute . The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health.


  • Food Access
  • Food environment
  • Food outlet
  • Perception
  • Questionnaire
  • Rural
  • Test-retest reliability
  • Urban


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