Online Program

Involving workers in research using electronic data collection tools

Monday, November 4, 2013

Carlos Dominguez, MPH, MHA, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Nancy J. Simcox, MS, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Noah Seixas, PhD, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Bert Stover, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Commercial janitors are a group of primarily immigrant, low wage workers who face significant risk at work, and are difficult to reach. Few occupational studies have trained workers to collect research data from peers with electronic data collection tools. In response to a request from a local union representing commercial janitors, we developed a study involving workers documenting occupational health concerns. Janitors collaborated with the research team in the study design, recruitment and interviewing process. Methods: Union and non-union janitors were recruited to administer a cross-sectional questionnaire among their peers (target: 275 union, 75 non-union, 75 union security guard controls). A cross-sectional questionnaire was developed, translated into three languages, and downloaded into tablets using Open Data Kit technology (ODK), allowing for remote collection and central web-based storage of data. Twenty workers received a four-hour training on recruitment, Institutional Review Board requirements, questionnaire content, and tablet use. Training was delivered, and the questionnaire administered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Follow-up, technical support and quality assurance was provided by study staff. Results: Janitors effectively recruited and interviewed peers at their worksites and through the union. Over 200 surveys were completed within three weeks, and all interviews were complete in a three month period. Conclusion: Workers trained as interviewers can efficiently recruit and interview peers in a short time span using novel electronic data collection methods while working from remote locations. The use of web-based technology and tablets for data collection streamlined research process.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the participatory training developed to train peer immigrant interviewers Explain the process and novel mobile technology used to by peer immigrant workers to administer health surveys

Keyword(s): Low-Income, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional and researcher with over 15 years of experience in the field of health education, international health, health administration, emergency preparedness and occupational health. I am co-investigator in this study
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.