270578 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Worker Outreach and Education

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mary Deems, MPH , Occupational Health Branch, California Dept. of Public Health, Richmond, CA
The Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OLPPP) provides statewide preventive services aimed at reducing work-related lead poisoning. Activities include managing the Adult (Occupational) Blood Lead Registry; investigating serious cases of lead poisoning in workers and cases of take-home poisoning; educating workers, employers, and health professionals about lead safety; and recommending measures to prevent lead poisoning. The program maintains an extensive library of educational materials developed over the last 18 years.

OLPPP has never conducted a comprehensive evaluation of its outreach and education efforts to assess whether they are effective. This is a critical need, particularly in light of shrinking resources and new communication methodologies and technologies now available. The purpose of this effort is to determine whether current educational products and materials for workers effectively communicate the program's core messages and use methods and media that are preferred/most appropriate for the target audience(s).

OLPPP conducted an evaluation of its outreach and education for workers from 2010 through 2012. The evaluation utilized (or will utilize) telephone surveys, focus groups and key informant interviews. Preliminary results indicate that workers appreciate receiving information related to lead poisoning and their health in the mail. Further analysis and focus groups will identify specific information workers get from program materials and videos; whether the information is useful to them; whether current media and outreach methods are preferred by this audience, and whether there are better alternatives.

The information we obtain will inform the development of our future communication strategy for reaching workers with important prevention information.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify two methods for evaluating the effectiveness of outreach and education for workers. Discuss the merits and limitations of different evaluation methods aimed at worker audiences. Identify 2 key challenges to recruiting workers to participate in an evaluation.

Keywords: Health Education, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am employed as a Bilingual Health Education Consultant III by the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Occupational Health Branch, CA Dept. of Public Health. In that capacity, I have primary responsibility for the design, development, implementation and evaluation of public health outreach and eduation programs.
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.