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Understanding Work-Related Stress among Medicolegal Death Investigators: A National Survey and Mixed-Methods Impact Study

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $549,260)

The goal of this project is to inform interventions and preventative training for medicolegal death investigators (MDIs) to reduce and alleviate work-related stressors, and to improve organizational outcomes (e.g., turnover, job performance) and personal well-being. RTI will partner with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) to use a mixed-methods approach to conduct the first study component: a national, web-based survey of MDIs (n= 1836; ABMDI certificants) to obtain a national perspective about health, wellness, stress, and stress management and overall mental health and wellbeing. Next, the second component will include an impact study using RTI’s Personal Health Intervention Tool (PHIT) mobile app customized for MDIs, using a random selection of certified MDIs (initial n=75; anticipated final n=50) to understand impact of work-related stress and stress management on physiology and perception of well-being. The PHIT’s self-reporting capabilities will collect longitudinal self-assessments of experiences, stress, coping methods, and health and wellness measures during a 12-week period. This pool will also be given a stress-inoculation intervention, measured by a mixed-methods model, in which the pool members will be encouraged to practice mindfulness training once or twice a day for five minutes. Physiological data will also be collected using through Bluetooth wireless sensors that track measurements such as heart rate or sleep disturbances. Heart rate variability will be measured before, during, and after the intervention using an upper-arm heart rate sensor (Scosche Rhythm 24 or equivalent). Sleep quality will be measured using a FitBit wearable device. Data from the survey and the impact study will be analyzed to understand the activities that increase stress among MDIs.

"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 24, 2019