Seminar with Alumna Melody Goodman – 12/13

Melody S. Goodman, PhD ’06
Associate Dean for Research
Associate Professor of Biostatistics
College of Global Public Health | New York University

Friday, December 13th
11am-12pm  |  Kresge G3

The Science and metrics of partner engagement in research

Background: Stakeholder engagement is a crucial part of participatory public health research, yet the measurement of stakeholder engagement in research is varied, inconsistent, and not methodologically sound. There is a need for a comprehensively validated quantitative measure of stakeholder engagement in research.

Methods: Our work started with a systematic review of the community engagement measurement literature. We used a mixed-methods design to conduct content and construct validation. A five round modified Delphi process was used for content validation. Participants who were previously involved in community engaged research were recruited and asked to complete a series of 4 web based surveys. The surveys presented several revised versions of a previously developed measure of stakeholder engagement in research, measured on both a quality and quantity scale. Revisions were based on feedback from a modified Delphi process and cognitive interview testing. The surveys also contained other measures of stakeholder engagement to examine correlative validity. Internal consistency of the items related to each engagement principle was investigated using Cronbach’s Alpha. Factor analysis was used to examine construct validity.

Results: The Delphi process resulted in a reduction of engagement principles and items. Preliminary results show acceptable internal consistency for the revised 32 item measure of eight engagement principles (Cronbach’s Alpha from 0.79 to 0.95). The measure shows positive correlation with the partnership assessment in community-based research (PAIR) measure (rs=0.41, 0.45, all p<0.01) and other stakeholder engagement measures (rs range: 0.26 to 0.72, all p<0.05).

Discussion: Emerging data suggest a valid and reliable measure that can be used to determine the level of research engagement and accurately assess associations between research outcomes and stakeholder engagement. Validated measures of partner engagement are necessary to move the science of stakeholder engagement from best practices to evidence based approaches. Future work includes development of a computer adaptive algorithm to reduce participant burden and an implementation study examine the use of the Research Engagement Survey Tool (REST) in stakeholder-engaged projects.