Impact, Insights, and Implications of the Systematic Screening and Assessment Method

This article examines the impact of using the Systematic Screening and Assessment (SSA) Method as applied to the Early Assessment of Programs and Policies to Prevent Childhood Obesity project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This 2-year initiative examined policy and environmental interventions aimed at improving children’s diet and physical activity.

The authors note that the SSA Method has:

  • Identified promising policy and environmental interventions that are worthy of further study;
  • Contributed to knowledge within the childhood obesity prevention field; and
  • Encouraged further development of policies and environmental interventions.

The SSA Method creates opportunities to evaluate strong, promising practices with limited resources. Additionally, this method allows the assessment to be done in a timely matter, delivering important information on the promise of community-based obesity prevention strategies. The method is being adapted for use in assessments of cardiovascular disease prevention, nursing education and prevention of intimate partner violence in immigrant populations.

The SSA Method serves as a process through which practice is translated to research; real-world applications are identified for formal evaluation.