To develop a measure of food and nutrition security for use among an Australian population that measures all pillars of food security and to establish its content validity.
The study consisted of two phases. Phase 1 involved focus groups with experts working in the area of food security. Data were assessed using content analysis and results informed the development of a draft tool. Phase 2 consisted of a series of three online surveys using the Delphi technique. Findings from each survey were used to establish content validity and progressively modify the tool until consensus was reached for all items.
Phase 1 focus groups involved twenty-five experts working in the field of food security, who were attending the Dietitians Association of Australia National Conference, 2013. Phase 2 included twenty-five experts working in food security, who were recruited via email.
Findings from Phase 1 supported the need for an Australian-specific tool and highlighted the failure of current tools to measure across all pillars of food security. Participants encouraged the inclusion of items to measure barriers to food acquisition and the previous single item to enable comparisons with previous data. Phase 2 findings informed the selection and modification of items for inclusion in the final tool.
The results led to the development of a draft tool to measure food and nutrition security, and supported its content validity. Further research is needed to validate the tool among the Australian population and to establish inter- and intra-rater reliability.