Direct Observation Instrument (BRAT-DO)


The Direct Observation Instrument (BRAT-DO) is part of a set of assessment instruments, The Bedimo Rung Assessment Tools, designed to measure the physical, social, and policy environments of parks. This particular tool is a direct observation measure intended to visually identify and evaluate the following aspects of parks: 1) Features, 2) Condition, 3) Access, 4) Esthetics, and 5) Safety.


Validity and reliability have been demonstrated (Bedimo-Rung et al., 2006).

Author of Tool:

Bedimo-Rung, A. L., Gustat, J., Tompkins, B. J., Rice, J., & Thomson, J.

Key references:

Bedimo-Rung, A. L., Gustat, J., Tompkins, B. J., Rice, J., & Thomson, J. (2006). Development of a direct observation instrument to measure environmental characteristics of parks for physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 3, S176-S189.

Primary use / Purpose:

This direct observation instrument is designed to assess park characteristics that may be related to physical activity.

DomainGeographic AreaItem
AccessTarget AreaCan the entire TA be locked?
AccessStreetWhat is the traffic volume of the street?
AccessCourtAre   there   sources of light that would allow the courts to be used at night?
AccessSports FieldAre there signs specifying that reservations are required to use the sports field?
ConditionTarget AreaRate the condition of the landscaping in the Target Area.
ConditionTarget AreaHow much litter is present in the Target Area?
ConditionCourtHow much of the court structures appear broken or missing on the courts?
ConditionGreen SpaceRate the condition of the surface of the green space.
ConditionPathRate the overall condition of the surface of the path or path segment.
ConditionPlaygroundHow much deterioration or corrosion is evident on the play equipment?
ConditionSports FieldRate the condition of the field.
EstheticsTarget AreaRate the appeal of the view from within the Target Area.
EstheticsGreen SpaceWhat portion of the Green Space could potentially be in the shade?
FeaturesTarget AreaAre there any picnic Tables in the Target Area?
FeaturesCourtIs the court outdoor or indoor?
FeaturesGreen SpaceDescribe the surface area of the Green Space/Open Area.
FeaturesPathWhat is the surface of the path or path segment made of?
FeaturesPlaygroundWhat type of play- ground equipment is present: Climbing Apparatus
FeaturesSports FieldWhat structures are present on the sports field: Scoreboard
SafetyTarget AreaHow many of the restrooms are gender- labeled?
SafetyPlaygroundIf playground surfacing is a loose mate- rial, how deep is it?

Note. *Assessed on a 5-point scale, then dichotomized for this analysis.