The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool: A New Instrument for Public Health Programs
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The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool: A New Instrument for Public Health Programs

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Introduction Public health programs can deliver benefits only if they are able to sustain programs, policies, and activities over time. Although numerous sustainability frameworks and models have been developed, there are almost no assessment tools that have demonstrated reliability or validity or have been widely disseminated. We present the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool (PSAT), a new and reliable instrument for assessing the capacity for program sustainability of various public health and other programs. Methods A measurement development study was conducted to assess the reliability of the PSAT. Program managers and staff (n = 592) representing 252 public health programs used the PSAT to rate the sustainability of their program. State and community-level programs participated, representing 4 types of chronic disease programs: tobacco control, diabetes, obesity prevention, and oral health. Results The final version of the PSAT contains 40 items, spread across 8 sustainability domains, with 5 items per domain. Confirmatory factor analysis shows good fit of the data with the 8 sustainability domains. The subscales have excellent internal consistency; the average Cronbach’s α is 0.88, ranging from 0.79 to 0.92. Preliminary validation analyses suggest that PSAT scores are related to important program and organizational characteristics. Conclusion The PSAT is a new and reliable assessment instrument that can be used to measure a public health program’s capacity for sustainability. The tool is designed to be used by researchers, evaluators, program managers, and staff for large and small public health programs.
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