Information dissemination as an intervention in occupational safety and health: evaluating its effectiveness at NIOSH.
Working Partnerships: Applying Research to Practice, NORA Symposium 2003, June 23-24, 2003, Arlington, Virginia. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Jun; :69
Evaluation of the process and effectiveness of projects has become increasingly important in public health. This includes evaluating the effectiveness of the communication products and processes involved in disseminating occupational safety and health information to increase understanding for injury and disease prevention. Program evaluation has become necessary in helping these projects to gain direction for improving as they develop and to determine their effectiveness after they have had time to produce results. Schneider and colleagues point out that the process of evaluation and revision helps to ensure that health-related communication tools are effective in assisting the users to understand health issues and make informed choices. The primary mission of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to inform the public about various occupational health issues for the prevention of injuries and diseases. This is achieved through the development and transfer of information, providing recommendations to foster prevention of occupational injuries and disease. Each year the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) develops and disseminates about 35 primary "numbered" publications, along with one hundred or more annual "series" publications. The NIOSH publication inventory contains nearly 4,000 scientific and educational documents relevant to occupational safety and health issues. In collaboration with four professional organizations (American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, American Industrial Hygiene Association, and American Society of Safety Engineers), NIOSH has conducted a survey to evaluate their satisfaction of these publications and other communication products developed and disseminated through NIOSH since 1995. The goal of this evaluation survey is to obtain a statistically acceptable sample of user feedback that can be analyzed to identify improvements in our information products and means of delivery. The survey was designed to determine: (1) to what extent NIOSH publications are perceived as credible, useful sources of information about occupational safety and health issues, i.e., a product evaluation, (2) to what extent NIOSH is successful in distributing its occupational safety and health information products to the appropriate user audience, i.e., marketing evaluation; and, (3) to what extent (and in what ways) NIOSH publications have influenced workplace safety and health program practices, i.e., impact evaluation. Data for this evaluation project were gathered in two phases: focus groups and questionnaire surveys. The information gathered from focus groups was used to formulate the 26-question survey administered to a sample of 1,200 randomly selected members of the four professional associations. Members of these associations were selected because of their knowledge and expertise in occupational health and safety and because of their familiarity with NIOSH publications. An electronic version of the questionnaire was developed giving respondents the option to fill it out electronically. This eversion is easily completed and can be electronically submitted along with an electronic copy of the Survey Response Card. The purpose of this presentation is to report some of the findings of this evaluation project and how these findings will help in focusing NIOSH’s communication products and distribution efforts as well as directing future communication efforts aimed at its stakeholders regarding their preferred publication format, design and delivery system
Disease-prevention; Injury-prevention; Information-processing; Information-systems; Surveillance-programs; Questionnaires
Working Partnerships: Applying Research to Practice, NORA Symposium 2003, June 23-24, 2003, Arlington, Virginia