230046 Building community capacity through use of peer-interviewers in community-based participatory research: Advantages and lessons learned

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Sherry L. Baron, MD MPH , Coordinator Occupational Health Disparities, National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC, Cincinnati, OH
Priscilla A. Gonzalez, MPH , Research Team, Berkeley Media Studies Group, Berkeley, CA
Pashtana Haroon, BA , Public Authority for IHSS in Alameda County, Oakland, CA
Laura Stock, MPH , Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Linda Ayala, MPH , Public Authority of IHSS of Alameda County, Oakland, CA
Homecare workers who provide personal care and housekeeping services to the elderly, disabled or ill constitute one of the fastest growing occupations, currently about 1,500,000 workers. It is a low wage job and is about 50% minority, Hispanic and/or immigrant workers. Partnership for Safety is a 5-year community-based participatory intervention project to improve the safety and health of homecare workers in Alameda County California by developing simple and accessible educational intervention materials. Previous presentations reported on the formative research process for developing the materials including a Homecare Workers Handbook. This presentation will describe the role of worker and client peer mentors in field testing the prototype Handbook. Twelve peer mentors (8 workers and 4 clients) conducted a total of 43 semi-structured interviews in 3 languages with workers and/or clients. Popular education techniques were used to train peer mentors in interviewing techniques. Hand-held digital recorders and a written data collection form were used. This activity contributed positively to the leadership development of peer mentors and provided useful feedback on the prototype. However, several lessons were learned to improve the performance of peer-interviewers for future projects. They include: 1) capturing feedback in written notes was difficult and the backup digital recordings were easy to operate and essential, 2) use of follow up probes was challenging and limited the utility and specificity of some responses, underscoring the need for even more extensive training and role-playing, 3) keeping the interview script short is important so that both the interviewers and respondents remain fully engaged.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the advantages and challenges of using peer interviewer to collect data

Keywords: Community Research, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee research on occupational health disparities using community based participatory methods
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.