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.

Domain Geographic Area Item
Access Target Area Can the entire TA be locked?
Access Street What is the traffic volume of the street?
Access Court Are   there   sources of light that would allow the courts to be used at night?
Access Sports Field Are there signs specifying that reservations are required to use the sports field?
Condition Target Area Rate the condition of the landscaping in the Target Area.
Condition Target Area How much litter is present in the Target Area?
Condition Court How much of the court structures appear broken or missing on the courts?
Condition Green Space Rate the condition of the surface of the green space.
Condition Path Rate the overall condition of the surface of the path or path segment.
Condition Playground How much deterioration or corrosion is evident on the play equipment?
Condition Sports Field Rate the condition of the field.
Esthetics Target Area Rate the appeal of the view from within the Target Area.
Esthetics Green Space What portion of the Green Space could potentially be in the shade?
Features Target Area Are there any picnic Tables in the Target Area?
Features Court Is the court outdoor or indoor?
Features Green Space Describe the surface area of the Green Space/Open Area.
Features Path What is the surface of the path or path segment made of?
Features Playground What type of play- ground equipment is present: Climbing Apparatus
Features Sports Field What structures are present on the sports field: Scoreboard
Safety Target Area How many of the restrooms are gender- labeled?
Safety Playground If playground surfacing is a loose mate- rial, how deep is it?

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