The construction of the compendium involved three progressive phases of review. Phase 1 review focused on the identification of candidate resources with the goal of growing the compendium, as well as initial cataloging of key dimensions, which flow from the conceptual framework included in the proposal. This framework draws on theories of persuasive communication and includes five aspects of communication:[7, 8]
The source of the message, including whether the organization is a government or non-government organization.
The medium by which the message is conveyed, including whether the risk communication was text-based, audio/visual, or interactive (electronically, as in an on-line quiz, or personally, as in a discussion group). Because there is great diversity even within these categories, a specific type variable was also entered, which described the resource qualitatively (e.g., booklet, brochure, etc.).
The targeted recipient, which includes whether the risk communication targets members of the vulnerable population, caregivers, or providers. This also includes which vulnerable population is targeted.
The content of the message itself includes emergency type, which was cataloged as natural disaster, man-made disaster, terrorist threat or incident, infectious disease outbreak, infectious disease pandemic, other public health emergency, other emergency, or unspecified. It also includes stage of preparedness, which was catalogued as preparedness, response, or recovery.
The target behavior, which includes five functional areas--maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision, medical care, and other.
Generally, the categories within each variable were allowed to overlap, with a single resource potentially getting multiple assignments (e.g., targeting both vulnerable individuals and caregivers).
The compendium is a database in an Excel spreadsheet. Each resource is catalogued in a single row, with columns for document number, hyperlink to an electronic version of the resource, citation, source, source type, medium type, specific medium type, vulnerable population, target audience, emergency type, stage of preparedness, functional area, and whether the resource is also available in other languages. A legend of these variables is presented in Appendix B1.
During Phase 2 review, each resource was reviewed by a randomly assigned team member, and catalogued data were double-checked. Reviewers were also instructed to identify exceptional resources (all-stars), which would be reviewed carefully in Phase 3 to identify key messages and strategies. Specifically, Phase 2 reviewers were instructed to flag resources they viewed as exemplary, in terms of anticipated benefit to their intended audience. Anticipated benefit was defined as the conveyance of actionable information that is appropriate for the intended audience. Furthermore, reviewers were informed that the aim was to capture approximately the best 10 percent. The goal was not to systematically review each resource, but instead to identify key exemplars that could be the focus of a more intensive review.
For Phase 3 review, four team members divided up resources flagged as all-stars. Each all-star resource was then reviewed carefully, rated on six dimensions, including the extent to which the resource:
- Clearly stated and addressed objectives;
- Clearly stated and addressed risks associated with the public health emergency;
- Reasonably covered issues salient to the specified vulnerable population(s);
- Provided specific guidance on how to act on the advice given;
- Was clear and easy to understand; and
- Was engaging.
Reviewers made notes on the motivation behind their ratings and also noted key messages delivered by the resource. The all-star score sheet is provided in Appendix B4.