Abstract Title

THE USE OF FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH TO EXPLORE COMMUNITY ATTITUDES TOWARD AIR QUALITY

Presenter Name

Leslie Allsopp

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore community perspectives on air quality, through focus group research.

North Central Texas is in nonattainment with National Ambient Air Quality Ozone Standards. One health impact of this is seen in Tarrant County’s asthma prevalence which is twice the national average. Community involvement is needed to address air pollution, but there is limited information about residents’ perspectives on these issues. The UNTHSC School of Public Health collaborated with the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations to hold air quality focus groups. Three geographic clusters of neighborhood associations were identified which included a range of emission sources and diverse population demographics. One focus group was formed within each area. Questions were asked regarding air quality concerns, preferred methods for receiving and responding to information, and potential uses of information to improve air quality.

Transcripts of the focus groups were reviewed by an advisory group from the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations. Themes and keywords were identified and structured according to a social-environmental model. Mixed method content analysis is being conducted through NVivo.

The initial analysis of the transcripts reveal a high concern regarding air pollution and toxic emissions, and an unmet need for air quality information from trusted sources. However, participants were uncertain of how they might use this information to improve air quality and reduce their exposure to pollutants. Focused information from trusted sources is needed by communities to support neighborhood level approaches to air pollution, and reduce exposure to airborne pollutants.

Purpose (a):

The purpose of this study is to explore community perspectives on air quality, through focus group research.

Methods (b):

North Central Texas is in nonattainment with National Ambient Air Quality Ozone Standards. One health impact of this is seen in Tarrant County’s asthma prevalence which is twice the national average. Community involvement is needed to address air pollution, but there is limited information about residents’ perspectives on these issues.

The UNTHSC School of Public Health collaborated with the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations to hold air quality focus groups. Three geographic clusters of neighborhood associations were identified which included a range of emission sources and diverse population demographics. One focus group was formed within each area. Questions were asked regarding air quality concerns, preferred methods for receiving and responding to information, and potential uses of information to improve air quality.

Transcripts of the focus groups were reviewed by an advisory group from the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations. Themes and keywords were identified and structured according to a social-environmental model. Mixed method content analysis is being conducted through NVivo.

Results (c):

The initial analysis of the transcripts reveal a high concern regarding air pollution and toxic emissions, and an unmet need for air quality information from trusted sources. However, participants were uncertain of how they might use this information to improve air quality and reduce their exposure to pollutants.

Conclusions (d):

Focused information from trusted sources is needed by communities to support neighborhood level approaches to air pollution, and reduce exposure to airborne pollutants.

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THE USE OF FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH TO EXPLORE COMMUNITY ATTITUDES TOWARD AIR QUALITY

The purpose of this study is to explore community perspectives on air quality, through focus group research.

North Central Texas is in nonattainment with National Ambient Air Quality Ozone Standards. One health impact of this is seen in Tarrant County’s asthma prevalence which is twice the national average. Community involvement is needed to address air pollution, but there is limited information about residents’ perspectives on these issues. The UNTHSC School of Public Health collaborated with the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations to hold air quality focus groups. Three geographic clusters of neighborhood associations were identified which included a range of emission sources and diverse population demographics. One focus group was formed within each area. Questions were asked regarding air quality concerns, preferred methods for receiving and responding to information, and potential uses of information to improve air quality.

Transcripts of the focus groups were reviewed by an advisory group from the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations. Themes and keywords were identified and structured according to a social-environmental model. Mixed method content analysis is being conducted through NVivo.

The initial analysis of the transcripts reveal a high concern regarding air pollution and toxic emissions, and an unmet need for air quality information from trusted sources. However, participants were uncertain of how they might use this information to improve air quality and reduce their exposure to pollutants. Focused information from trusted sources is needed by communities to support neighborhood level approaches to air pollution, and reduce exposure to airborne pollutants.