Principal components analysis to identify influences on research communication and engagement during an environmental disaster
Winters, Charlene A.
Moore, Colleen F.
Kuntz, Sandra W.
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OBJECTIVES: To discern community attitudes towards research engagement in Libby, Montana, the only Superfund site for which a public health emergency has been declared. STUDY DESIGN: Survey study of convenience samples of residents near the Libby, Montana Superfund site. PARTICIPANTS: Residents of the Libby, Montana area were recruited from a local retail establishment (N=120, survey 1) or a community event (N=127, survey 2). MEASURES: Two surveys were developed in consultation with a Community Advisory Panel. RESULTS: Principal components of survey 1 showed four dimensions of community members' attitudes towards research engagement: (1) researcher communication and contributions to the community, (2) identity and affiliation of the researchers requesting participation, (3) potential personal barriers, including data confidentiality, painful or invasive procedures and effects on health insurance and (4) research benefits for the community, oneself or family. The score on the first factor was positively related to desire to participate in research (r=0.31, p=0.01). Scores on factors 2 and 3 were higher for those with diagnosis of asbestos-related disease (ARD) in the family (Cohen's d=0.41, 0.57). Survey 2 also found more positive attitudes towards research when a family member had ARD (Cohen's d=0.48). CONCLUSIONS: Principal components analysis shows different dimensions of attitudes towards research engagement. The different dimensions are related to community members' desire to be invited to participate in research, awareness of past research in the community and having been screened or diagnosed with a health condition related to the Superfund contaminant.
Winters, Charlene A, Colleen F Moore, Sandra W Kuntz, Clarann Weinert, Tanis Hernandez, and Brad Black. "Principal components analysis to identify influences on research communication and engagement during an environmental disaster." BMJ open 6, no. 8 (August 2016). DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012106.