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Swift Worksite Assessment and Translation (SWAT)

The Swift Worksite Assessment and Translation (SWAT) evaluation method allows for rapid assessment of worksite health promotion programs that help employees to attain or maintain a healthy body weight. The method generates data sufficient to identify promising and innovative worksite health promotion strategies that may be useful to advance public health goals related to reducing adult obesity.

The SWAT evaluation method was developed by CDC to determine a useful and business-friendly approach to conducting a systematic, yet rapid, evaluation process that comports with recognized program evaluation standards. Rigorous evaluation research is often a lengthy, expensive process. On the other hand, informal judgments about program success that are based on anecdote do not provide enough evidence to build a business case for health promotion. SWAT is a new, middle ground methodology. A cornerstone of the SWAT approach is to work collaboratively with worksites that are using their own in-house data to track and evaluate their health promotion programs.

An independent, outside evaluation team conducted process and summative evaluations on the evaluation method itself considering its efficacy in providing accurate, useful information; and compliance with evaluation standards. The SWAT evaluation approach was found to be feasible in an ordinary workplace setting.

CDC’s SWAT evaluation method has 5 steps:

  1. site identification and selection
  2. a 2-day site visit
  3. post site-visit evaluative assessment of promising practices
  4. evaluation capacity-building
  5. translation and dissemination.

Learn more about how to conduct a SWAT assessment of your worksite below.

Swift Worksite Assessment and Translation (SWAT) Implementation Guide [PDF-96k]
This guide provides step-by-step instructions for conducting a SWAT assessment. It describes the types of information a SWAT assessment can provide insight into, how to conduct a single SWAT assessment, and how to analyze and report back to a worksite on the data obtained from it.

Site Visit Protocol Documents
The following documents were developed to ensure all interviewers collected SWAT data in a consistent manner. These documents are provided as examples that can be modified for use at your worksite.

Overview of Topics to be Discussed during the Site Visit [PDF-67k]
This document outlines the topics to be discussed during the site visit. It can be shared with key informants prior to the site visit so they can anticipate the types of questions that will be asked during the interviews.

Program Manager and Key Program Staff Interview Guide [PDF-93k]
This structured topic guide can be used for key informant interviews with the health promotion director and staff responsible for delivering the intervention, as well as any outside vendors who may be contracted to do pieces of the intervention, collect data, or analyze data about the program. It examines a number of areas concerning the program, including how the program is organized, being implemented, and the outcomes resulting from the program.

Individual Outcomes Table [PDF-51k]
This table of health and economic outcomes allows the interviewer to record the type of individual-level outcome information the program collects, how the outcomes are measured, the follow-up period and/or the frequency of measurement, and whether they have seen any changes. This table can be completed in conjunction with the program manager and key program staff Interview (above), with the data analyst, program manager, or key program staff (whoever at the site seems most knowledgeable about measuring individual level outcomes).

Workforce Composition Description Guide [PDF-34k]
This form provides a place to record concisely the key descriptive information on the workforce, such as the size, insurance status, and sociodemographics. It can be completed using information obtained from the Human Resources director or other staff with this information.

Senior Management Interview Guide [PDF-34k]
This structured topic guide can be used for key informant interviews with the human resources director, upper-level manager, or chief executive officer, that is, upper-level decision makers who support or fund the program. It assesses their viewpoints on the program including what makes them willing to support the program and the kinds of data that convince them that the program is worth the time and effort devoted to it.

Wellness Advisory Committee Interview Guide [PDF-35k]
This structured topic guide can be used for key informant interviews, or focus groups with wellness advisory committees in work sites that have them. It examines the role, composition, and function of the committee among other topics.

Tool for Observing Worksite Environments [PDF-87k]
This tool that can be used to conduct an environmental assessment at the workplace was adapted from the Checklist of Health Promotion Environments at Worksites (CHEW; Oldenburg et al., 2002). It includes components to assess the work site building, parking, and grounds environments; fitness center; nutrition and information environments; and the surrounding community.

Site Visit Report Template [PDF-67k]
This document provides a template for a site visit report including suggested topics to include and the order in which to report them.

SWAT Interpretive Assessment Checklist [PDF-33k]
This checklist accompanies the site visit report template. It contains a list of questions that evaluators can use as topics for discussion to develop an interpretive assessment of the program. It can be used as a guide or checklist to help formulate suggestions for the work site. It aids the evaluator in developing specific ideas that are feasible and that build on the positive aspects of the work site’s practices.

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