Next Article in Journal
Conversion Characteristics and Production Evaluation of Styrene/o-Xylene Mixtures Removed by DBD Pretreatment
Next Article in Special Issue
Overweight and Obese Adolescent Girls: The Importance of Promoting Sensible Eating and Activity Behaviors from the Start of the Adolescent Period
Previous Article in Journal
Exposure to Mercury and Aluminum in Early Life: Developmental Vulnerability as a Modifying Factor in Neurologic and Immunologic Effects
Previous Article in Special Issue
Preventing Obesity in the Military Community (POMC): The Development of a Clinical Trials Research Network
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1314-1333; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201314

An Innovative Approach to Addressing Childhood Obesity: A Knowledge-Based Infrastructure for Supporting Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Decision-Making in Quebec, Canada

1
McGill Center for the Convergence in Health and Economics (MCCHE), Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5, Canada
2
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew P. Hills
Received: 1 November 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Obesity: Novel Approaches to a Global Problem)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1957 KB, uploaded 23 January 2015]   |  

Abstract

Multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) have become a widespread means for deploying policies in a whole of society strategy to address the complex problem of childhood obesity. However, decision-making in MSPs is fraught with challenges, as decision-makers are faced with complexity, and have to reconcile disparate conceptualizations of knowledge across multiple sectors with diverse sets of indicators and data. These challenges can be addressed by supporting MSPs with innovative tools for obtaining, organizing and using data to inform decision-making. The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the development of a knowledge-based infrastructure to support MSP decision-making processes. The paper emerged from a study to define specifications for a knowledge-based infrastructure to provide decision support for community-level MSPs in the Canadian province of Quebec. As part of the study, a process assessment was conducted to understand the needs of communities as they collect, organize, and analyze data to make decisions about their priorities. The result of this process is a “portrait”, which is an epidemiological profile of health and nutrition in their community. Portraits inform strategic planning and development of interventions, and are used to assess the impact of interventions. Our key findings indicate ambiguities and disagreement among MSP decision-makers regarding causal relationships between actions and outcomes, and the relevant data needed for making decisions. MSP decision-makers expressed a desire for easy-to-use tools that facilitate the collection, organization, synthesis, and analysis of data, to enable decision-making in a timely manner. Findings inform conceptual modeling and ontological analysis to capture the domain knowledge and specify relationships between actions and outcomes. This modeling and analysis provide the foundation for an ontology, encoded using OWL 2 Web Ontology Language. The ontology is developed to provide semantic support for the MSP process, defining objectives, strategies, actions, indicators, and data sources. In the future, software interacting with the ontology can facilitate interactive browsing by decision-makers in the MSP in the form of concepts, instances, relationships, and axioms. Our ontology also facilitates the integration and interpretation of community data, and can help in managing semantic interoperability between different knowledge sources. Future work will focus on defining specifications for the development of a database of indicators and an information system to help decision-makers to view, analyze and organize indicators for their community. This work should improve MSP decision-making in the development of interventions to address childhood obesity. View Full-Text
Keywords: childhood obesity; multi-stakeholder partnerships; decision-making; knowledge-based infrastructure; process mapping; conceptual modeling; ontology development childhood obesity; multi-stakeholder partnerships; decision-making; knowledge-based infrastructure; process mapping; conceptual modeling; ontology development
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Addy, N.A.; Shaban-Nejad, A.; Buckeridge, D.L.; Dubé, L. An Innovative Approach to Addressing Childhood Obesity: A Knowledge-Based Infrastructure for Supporting Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Decision-Making in Quebec, Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1314-1333.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top