Key informant surveys as a tool to implement and evaluate physical activity interventions in the community

Health Educ Res. 1999 Apr;14(2):289-98. doi: 10.1093/her/14.2.289.


Key informant surveys are important tools for planning and evaluating community health programs. A survey was conducted to gather views on policies toward physical activity from four sets of key informants: physicians, church leaders, business leaders and civic leaders. Surveys were mailed to 797 key informants who were selected from 12 southeastern Missouri counties. For comparison, data from a telephone survey of 2106 persons in the general population were also analyzed. The majority (> 85%) in all four key informant groups were very supportive of required physical education in schools, but less supportive (< 69%) of government funding for places where community members can exercise. Physicians perceived community members as having somewhat greater access to places to exercise relative to the other key informant groups. Comparisons of the key informant surveys to the population survey indicated similar levels of support for physical activity policy. The information from this survey has been useful in identifying support for physical activity policy and gaining access to potential influences for community change. Since key informant research in the area of physical activity policy and cardiovascular disease prevention is sparse, there is a need for future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Planning
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri