Using focus groups to gather information about silica dust exposure in the workplace.
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :6
Focus groups provide researchers with an opportunity to gather qualitative information about particular issues that might otherwise be missed with traditional survey methods. In this study, focus groups were used to gather specific information to aid in the development of intervention materials. A series of 13 focus groups were conducted with union and nonunion masonry workers and contractors in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina to gather information about silica dust exposure in the workplace. The focus groups were unique in that a theoretical framework was used to guide the discussions. Components of the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) were incorporated into the focus group discussion to determine the participants' perceptions of threat and fear regarding silica dust and silicosis and their perceptions of efficacy regarding respiratory protection methods such as wet-sawing and respirator use. EPPM research has indicated that health messages are most effective when threat and efficacy perceptions are high. The focus group discussion included questions that assessed current workplace safety behaviors, preferred sources of receiving health and safety information, and preferred format of health and safety information. The results indicate that there are clear differences in threat and efficacy perceptions between masonry contractors and workers concerning silica dust and silicosis. These differences have heen carefully considered in the design of targeted intervention materials for both contractors and workers. These materials have been pilot tested and will be implemented and evaluated in a larger study. Focus groups served a crucial role in the assessment of target group perceptions and the formative evaluation of intervention materials. Focus groups should he seriously considered when developing health communication and educational intervention materials.
Construction; Construction-workers; Masons; Group-dynamics; Data-processing; Silica-dusts; Qualitative-analysis; Employee-exposure; Work-environment; Silicosis; Respiratory-protection; Respirators; Analytical-models; Behavior; Attitude; Education; Training
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida