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Risk Communication and Factors Influencing Private Well Testing Behavior: A Systematic Scoping Review

1
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4333; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224333
Received: 7 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
Unregulated private wells may be at risk for certain types of contamination associated with adverse health effects. Well water testing is a primary method to identify such risks, although testing rates are generally low. Risk communication is used as an intervention to promote private well testing behavior; however, little is known about whether these efforts are effective as well as the mechanisms that influence effectiveness. A systematic scoping review was conducted to evaluate the current evidence base for risk communication effectiveness and factors that influence well testing behavior. The review was conducted with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) framework. Data were synthesized using a health behavior model (Health Belief Model) to identify areas amenable to intervention and factors to consider when designing risk communication interventions. We identified a significant shortage of studies examining the effectiveness of risk communication interventions targeted to well testing behavior, with only two quasi-experimental studies identified. The review also identified seventeen studies that examined or described factors relating to well testing behavior. The two empirical studies suggest risk communication methods can be successful in motivating private well owners to test their water, while the remaining studies present considerations for developing effective, community-specific content. View Full-Text
Keywords: private wells; well testing; drinking water; risk communication; health behavior; behavioral intervention private wells; well testing; drinking water; risk communication; health behavior; behavioral intervention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Colley, S.K.; Kane, P.K.; MacDonald Gibson, J. Risk Communication and Factors Influencing Private Well Testing Behavior: A Systematic Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4333.

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