Reporting Personal Levels of Environmental Chemicals: Impact

Institution: Public Health Institute
Investigator(s): Barbara Cohn, Ph.D., MPH, MCP - Laurie Havas,  -
Award Cycle: 2013 (Cycle 19) Grant #: 19BB-2800 Award: $756,093
Award Type: CRC Full Research Award
Research Priorities
Etiology and Prevention>Etiology: the role of environment and lifestyle

Final Report (2017)

Our project developed and tested practices for report-back of environmental chemicals and is studying the impact of providing these results to about 200 2nd generation women in the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS).

We completed subject recruitment in January 2016. The Community Partners (PAC) and CHDS collaborated to draft the recruitment scripts and study documents which were approved by PHI IRB. The secure website design, where participants obtained their results, was finalized by Co-investigator Dr. Brody with the PAC and CHDS to make the website clear and user-friendly. Data collection is complete with over 200 participants. This has required the implementation of finely tuned study protocols that manage the multiple complexities of a design with two interviews for two different participants groups, test and control, conducted at two sites, CHDS and Silent Spring Institute. Preliminary results provide strong evidence that participants were motivated by receiving personal report-back.

Barriers we overcame: A) To go live with our report we needed secure report-back web site. B) To provide environmental exposures with complex health implications we developed a website that could be easily understood by all participants. C) To ensure that participants completed the study we designed a screening protocol that included multiple reminders to view website before administering the second interview. D) To guarantee participants had adequate support to manage concern we had trained personnel available to speak with participants.

We successfully completed the implementation of a finely tuned study in a diverse population, composed of half African-Americans, with multiple complexities including two interviews among two different participant groups (early and late personal report-back) conducted at two sites, CHDS and Silent Spring Institute. We met and exceeded the expected target sample for this study. Preliminary study results using this unique study design suggest that participants are strongly motivated to visit the MyCHDSReport website when given the opportunity to learn their personal levels of environmental exposures.

We are still analyzing the data and have identified primary topics for manuscript development. One manuscript has already been published, co-authored by the community co-PI of this study. Working with our PAC we have discussed analysis methods that we will use to examine the data collected over the course of the study. Our partnership has provided deep insight about the interpretation of the preliminary results and will continue to guide future analysis.