Methods: Mind the Gap

Webinar Series

The Science of Partner Engagement in Research: Development and Validation of Evaluation Metrics

July 9, 2024
Melody S. Goodman, Ph.D
Melody S. Goodman, Ph.D.

New York University School of Global Public Health

About the Webinar

Partner engagement is a crucial part of participatory public health research, yet the measurement of partner engagement in research is varied, inconsistent, and not methodologically sound. Partner-engaged research approaches and a mixed-methods (qualitative/quantitative) study design are used to validate a measure to assess the level of partner engagement in research—the research engagement survey tool (REST). To reduce partner burden, a brief nine-item version of REST was developed. The resulting comprehensive version of REST was narrowed to 32 items corresponding to eight engagement principles. Psychometric results show acceptable internal consistency for the revised comprehensive measure’s eight engagement principles, both on the quality and quantity scale (Cronbach’s Alpha from 0.79 to 0.92). Results also show low to moderate correlative validity with similar measures (Spearman correlation coefficient range: 0.19 to 0.69). Results show promise for a nine-item brief version of REST that is highly correlated with the comprehensive version of REST (quality and quantity: r=0.97, p<0.01) and has similar overall and engagement principle-specific means. 

About Melody S. Goodman

Dr. Melody Goodman received her B.S. summa cum laude in applied mathematics-statistics and economics from Stony Brook University. She received her M.S. in biostatistics from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and her Ph.D. from the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard University with minors in theoretical statistics and the social determinants of health disparities. She is the Senior Executive Vice Dean, Professor of Biostatistics, and Director of the Center for Anti-Racism, Social Justice & Public Health at the New York University School of Global Public Health. Her research interest is identifying the origins of health inequities and developing evidence-informed primary prevention strategies to reduce these health inequities. NIH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Verizon Foundation, Long Island Community Foundation, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure have all funded her work. Dr. Goodman has over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books (2018 Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group)—Public Health Research Methods for Partnerships and Practice, and Biostatistics for Clinical and Public Health Research. She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2021) and the inaugural recipient of the Societal Impact Award from the Caucus for Women in Statistics (2021).

Dr. Goodman is a biostatistician and research methodologist. Her research efforts seek to develop a more rigorous understanding of the social risk factors that contribute to health inequities in urban areas, intending to develop culturally competent, region-specific solutions through collaborative activities with community members, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and other community health stakeholders. The purpose of this work is not to continue to identify problems; rather, her work focuses on developing solutions for improving health in minoritized and medically underserved communities. Dr. Goodman has two primary lines of research—an applied methods track that conducts applied biostatistical and survey research for community-based interventions and health inequities research with a strong focus on measurement, and a community-engaged research track with a focus on enhancing the infrastructure for community-engaged research through academic-community collaborations, as well as the implementation and evaluation of community-engaged research projects to reduce health inequities.

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