211024 Obtaining Miner and Mine Operator Participation in a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Survey of Kentucky Coal Miners

Monday, November 9, 2009

William David Willis , University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Kentucky coal miners have low participation rates in the federally funded Coal Worker's X-ray Surveillance Program (CWXSP). To better understand reasons for lack of participation, a knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) survey was conducted among Kentucky's active underground miners. The intent of the survey was to evaluate miners' KAP regarding the CWXSP to identify specific interventions that may lead to policy changes to increase participation. To interview coal miners at the work site, it was essential to obtain cooperation from coal mine operators/owners. The interviewers obtained endorsement of the survey from the Kentucky Coal Association. Mines were selected from Eastern and Western Kentucky using a stratified random sampling method to allow evaluation of differences between regions. Mine operators were contacted to request participation of their employees and informational flyers were distributed pre-visit. Miners were encouraged to participate with multiple incentives donated from non-governmental organizations. Miners were recruited and interviewed anonymously during shift change at the coal mine to ensure they were currently working as a miner. Of the 183 active underground mines in Kentucky, 61 were contacted for participation; 4 mines responded favorably and 212 coal miners were interviewed. This evaluation determined that mine participation in the survey depended on the development of personal relationships with mine operators, providing incentives, emphasis on state-level involvement, and gaining trust among the rural mining communities. This methodology may assist other investigators to conduct studies targeting coal mines.

Learning Objectives:
Identify methods for obtaining access to and participation of Kentucky coal miners in a voluntary survey.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Delta Omega student nominee
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.