Environmental health literacy (EHL) is an emerging field that promotes understanding of the ways in which exposures to environmental contaminants relate to human health.
As the field has coalesced in recent years, a need has arisen for the development and validation of individual and community-level EHL measures.
This two-phase study aims to address this need by expanding upon existing collaborative relationships among the University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, local water utilities, and citizen scientists.
During phase one, key informant interviews will contribute to the development of a targeted survey instrument to assess EHL levels among technical stakeholders in Appalachian communities in Kentucky and West Virginia.
In phase two, the instrument will be validated and piloted.
Stakeholder participation and feedback through all stages of survey development, implementation, and evaluation will ensure that a context-centered approach is foundational to this early work in EHL assessment.
Study outcomes will include a validated, communityinformed survey instrument that can be adapted for other settings and stakeholders.
In addition, pilot data about EHL gaps among the region’s technical audiences can inform the development of future capacity-building EHL interventions designed to spur health-protective individual and community actions.