Journal article Embargoed Access

Testing the reliability and effectiveness of a new tool for assessing urban blue spaces: The BlueHealth environmental assessment tool (BEAT)

Mishra, Himansu Sekhar; Bell, Simon; Grellier, James; White, Mathew P

In order to understand how blue spaces may influence health-promoting behaviours, a reliable and effective assessment tool is needed. The Blue Health Environment Assessment Tool (BEAT) was developed to meet this need. A two-stage approach to testing the reliability of the tool is presented here. At Stage-1, one common and several different expert assessors rated 16 sites independently and their results compared. In Stage-2, two as- sessors rated 21 sites independently and their results were compared. The Inter-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated to assess inter-rater reliability to both stages. Stage-2 results showed greater reliability after enhanced training of the assessors. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the tool at revealing differences between sites and for identifying health promoting affordances we carried out intra and inter-site comparisons of a subset of six sites for the Stage-1 and 18 sites for Stage-2. The results showed that overall the tool performs consistently and compares well to the reliability shown by other similar tools. The tool is also highly effective in identifying site-specific differences across the test sample of blue spaces. The results demonstrate that the tool can be used reliably (with training and guidance) and that it provides meaningful data to help planners and designers assess different sites.

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Files are currently under embargo but will be publicly accessible after February 19, 2023.

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