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Inter-rater reliability of retrospective virtual audits of the built environment

Harding, Alyson B. (2019) Inter-rater reliability of retrospective virtual audits of the built environment. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Mobility decline is significantly associated with poor health outcomes and high health care costs, and impacts one third to one half of community-dwelling older adults. The built environment and neighborhood walkability play a major role in mobility and other health outcomes, and are of major interest in public health research. While many methods for assessing the built environment exist, the introduction of free, online, street-level images has made conducting virtual neighborhood audits a possibility. Previous studies have assessed the inter-rater reliability between virtual audits and field audits, and between multiple auditors conducting virtual audits with current imagery, but studies have not yet assessed the inter-rater reliability of audits conducted using archived Google Street View imagery.
Methods: Two raters independently conducted 50 neighborhood audits for a subset of participants in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study using a modified version of the Active Neighborhood Checklist and the earliest available archived Google Street View imagery. The 77 items of the Checklist were dichotomized, and the prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted kappa (PABAK) and percent agreement were calculated.
Results: The PABAK values for the 77 items of the modified Active Neighborhood Checklist ranged from 0.20 to 1.00 with an average of 0.75. Eighty percent of items demonstrated substantial (PABAK ≥ 0.61) or nearly perfect agreement (PABAK ≥ 0.81).
Conclusion: Google Street View images provide an efficient, convenient, and safe way to conduct neighborhood audits to measure the built environment. Archived imagery can be used to assess past neighborhood characteristics, allowing for historic data about the built environment to be added to existing cohorts. With the important role of the built environment in health outcomes such as mobility, the ability to assess past neighborhood characteristics with Google Street View imagery has the potential to improve public health research and examination of novel outcomes.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Harding, Alyson B.alh232@pitt.edualh232
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRosso, Andrea L.alr143@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberGlynn, Nancy W.glynnn@edc.pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBrach, Jennifer S.jbrach@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 17 April 2019
Date Type: Submission
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 35
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: environment, assessment, mobility, walkability, inter-rater reliability,
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 22:15
Last Modified: 01 May 2022 05:15


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