264616 Aspects of a livable community: An extensive survey of seniors and community members in Kingsport, Tennessee

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kathleen Beine, MD, FAAFP , Principal Researcher, Beine & Associates, Kingsport, TN
“A Livable Community Survey of the Greater Kingsport, TN Area” was one of 15 pilot AARP projects in 2009. It was the only mail-out survey, with 16 pages of questions covering aspects of community design and services, neighborhood issues, and personal concerns related to public health and aging. Of the population surveyed (AARP members and general public), 1,439 people returned surveys for a combined 43.6% response rate. Innovative approaches that contributed to this phenomenal response rate to such a lengthy survey included: local citizens were involved as an initial focus group and, later, as a pre-test pilot group for the survey instrument; an extensive local publicity campaign was developed; a customized mailing envelope was printed. A supplemental survey of community residents was distributed to various groups in the Greater Kingsport area. This included key leadership groups, such as the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Board of Education, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, along with announced survey pick up sites at various locations throughout the community. Major survey findings included: Community concerns: good job opportunities, urban vegetable gardens, bus stops with benches and shelters, lack of sidewalks, attractive entranceways into community, well designed and maintained streets, affordable housing, and clean air. Neighborhood concerns: lack of sidewalks, a grocery store within walking distance, community recreation centers and parks. Personal concerns: health care affordability, remaining independent, safety and security, staying physically active, and home modification needs. A detailed handout of our methodology and publicity campaign will be provided.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. List survey development and publicity campaign techniques that will improve survey response rates. 2. Name major concerns identified in the survey regarding community design and services, neighborhood issues, and personal concerns.

Keywords: Aging, Community Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: : I am a family physician / medical educator with 20 years of experience in community advocacy and community-based research. As a principal researcher of the AARP study, “A Livable Community Survey of the Greater Kingsport, TN Area,” I also developed many of the additional strategies that resulted in a 43.6% response rate for the 16 page questionnaire.
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.