The added value of establishing a lexicon to help inform, compare, and better understand the implementation of policy, systems, and environmental change strategies in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education


Thompson, J.; Sutton, K.; Kuo, T.


Categorization of terms/concepts/constructs that allows for better understanding and comparison of public health interventions is often lacking in program implementation and evaluation. A classification system such as a lexicon, when used appropriately, can help address this need. The present narrative describes a lexicon of policy, systems, and environmental change strategies (PSEs) that was developed and prototyped to aid local implementation of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) interventions in obesity prevention. The lexicon was reviewed and refined by a panel of experts who provided iterative feedback on the system's scope and utility. To develop the lexicon, a team from the local health department: (i) conducted an inventory (community context scan) of SNAP-Ed PSEs implemented in Los Angeles County during 2010–2015; (ii) assessed commonalities among PSEs that were translated into “index factors” to contextualize terms/concepts/constructs relevant to SNAP-Ed services planning; and (iii) convened a panel of experts to review and test the classification system for quality and usability. In the latter activity, the panel reviewed the terms/concepts/constructs within the context of two geographical areas and by the selected PSEs. The final version of the lexicon organized the terms/concepts/constructs of the local SNAP-Ed PSEs into overarching categories, so they can be compared/assessed by type, content, and/or impact. The goal of the project was to create a classification system that can help facilitate meaningful communications among program implementers, evaluators, and community stakeholders. The lexicon has practical implications and potential applications for other jurisdictions interested in reducing obesity rates through SNAP-Ed PSEs. © 2019 The Author(s)


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