Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2006;32(3):209-218    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1001

Development of a questionnaire to assess worker knowledge, attitudes and perceptions underlying dermal exposure

by Geer LA, Curbow BA, Anna DH, Lees PSJ, Buckley TJ

Objectives Workers’ behavior is identified as an important determinant of dermal exposure and is influenced by knowledge, attitudes, and risk perceptions. Because behavior may be a significant predictor of exposure, its assessment provides a means for examining exposure and designing strategies and incentives that encourage worker protective behavior. Currently, there are no psychosocial instruments examining worker knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions with respect to dermal hazards. Accordingly, a questionnaire was developed and tested to provide an instrument for measuring worker knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions.

Methods The questionnaire was developed on the basis of a literature review and expert consultation. Scales were constructed based on standard methods. Two worker focus groups were used to evaluate worker understanding and content validity of the KAP (knowledge, attitudes, perceptions) questionnaire. The resulting 115-item questionnaire that included scales for knowledge (N=13), attitudes (N=27), perceptions (N=15), behavior (N=8), behavioral intentions (N=15), barriers (N=13), and facilitators (N=5) was tested on 89 workers from 19 facilities.

Results The concepts identified in the focus groups included worker perception of higher risk due to a poor fit and replacement frequency for personal protective equipment and cross-contamination by workers moving into work zones. Field testing of the questionnaire (N=89) yielded Cronbach’s alpha reliability scores ranging from 0.87 for the self-efficacy personal protective equipment scale to 0.92 for the overall belief scale, indicating high internal reliability.

Conclusions Although further testing and refinement is needed, this survey instrument provides an initial and conceptually unique means for evaluating behavioral determinants of worker dermal exposure.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2002;28(6):371-385  1998;24 suppl 2:42-53  1998;24 suppl 2:25-41