Public health citizen science; perceived impacts on citizen scientists

A case study in a low-income neighbourhood in the Netherlands

Lea Den Broeder, Lidwien Lemmens, Serfanim Uysal, Karin Kauw, Jitske Weekenborg, Michaela Schönenberger, Simone Klooster-Kwakkelstein, Mieke Schoenmakers, Willie Scharwächter, Annemarije Van De Weerd, Samira El Baouchi, A.J. Schuit, Annemarie Wagemakers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Citizen science – the active participation of lay people in research – may yield crucial local knowledge and increase research capacity. Recently, there is growing interest to understand benefits for citizen scientists themselves. We studied the perceived impacts of participation in a public health citizen science project on citizen scientists in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Local citizen scientists, characterised by low income and low educational level – many of whom were of migrant origin – were trained to interview fellow residents about health-enhancing and health-damaging neighbourhood features. Experiences of these citizen scientists were collected through focus groups and interviews and analysed using a theoretical model of potential citizen science benefits. The results show that the citizen scientists perceived participation in the project as a positive experience. They acquired a broader understanding of health and its determinants and knowledge about healthy lifestyles, and took action to change their own health behaviour. They reported improved self confidence and social skills, and expanded their network across cultural boundaries. Health was perceived as a topic that helped people with different backgrounds to relate to one another. The project also induced joint action to improve the neighbourhood’s health. We conclude that citizen science benefits participants with low educational or literacy level. Moreover, it seems to be a promising approach that can help promote health in underprivileged communities by strengthening personal skills and social capital. However, embedding projects in broader health promotion strategies and long-term engagement of citizen scientists should be pursued to accomplish this.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number89
    Number of pages7
    JournalCitizen Science: Theory and Practice
    Volume2
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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    Netherlands
    low income
    public health
    citizen
    science
    health
    participation
    self-confidence
    interview
    health behavior
    health promotion
    social capital
    experience
    migrant
    literacy
    determinants
    resident
    community

    Cite this

    Den Broeder, Lea ; Lemmens, Lidwien ; Uysal, Serfanim ; Kauw, Karin ; Weekenborg, Jitske ; Schönenberger, Michaela ; Klooster-Kwakkelstein, Simone ; Schoenmakers, Mieke ; Scharwächter, Willie ; Van De Weerd, Annemarije ; El Baouchi, Samira ; Schuit, A.J. ; Wagemakers, Annemarie. / Public health citizen science; perceived impacts on citizen scientists : A case study in a low-income neighbourhood in the Netherlands. In: Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. 2017 ; Vol. 2, No. 1.
    @article{6986425d0aff4a75b231ac0831c4280c,
    title = "Public health citizen science; perceived impacts on citizen scientists: A case study in a low-income neighbourhood in the Netherlands",
    abstract = "Citizen science – the active participation of lay people in research – may yield crucial local knowledge and increase research capacity. Recently, there is growing interest to understand benefits for citizen scientists themselves. We studied the perceived impacts of participation in a public health citizen science project on citizen scientists in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Local citizen scientists, characterised by low income and low educational level – many of whom were of migrant origin – were trained to interview fellow residents about health-enhancing and health-damaging neighbourhood features. Experiences of these citizen scientists were collected through focus groups and interviews and analysed using a theoretical model of potential citizen science benefits. The results show that the citizen scientists perceived participation in the project as a positive experience. They acquired a broader understanding of health and its determinants and knowledge about healthy lifestyles, and took action to change their own health behaviour. They reported improved self confidence and social skills, and expanded their network across cultural boundaries. Health was perceived as a topic that helped people with different backgrounds to relate to one another. The project also induced joint action to improve the neighbourhood’s health. We conclude that citizen science benefits participants with low educational or literacy level. Moreover, it seems to be a promising approach that can help promote health in underprivileged communities by strengthening personal skills and social capital. However, embedding projects in broader health promotion strategies and long-term engagement of citizen scientists should be pursued to accomplish this.",
    author = "{Den Broeder}, Lea and Lidwien Lemmens and Serfanim Uysal and Karin Kauw and Jitske Weekenborg and Michaela Sch{\"o}nenberger and Simone Klooster-Kwakkelstein and Mieke Schoenmakers and Willie Scharw{\"a}chter and {Van De Weerd}, Annemarije and {El Baouchi}, Samira and A.J. Schuit and Annemarie Wagemakers",
    year = "2017",
    doi = "10.5334/cstp.89",
    language = "English",
    volume = "2",
    journal = "Citizen Science: Theory and Practice",
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    Den Broeder, L, Lemmens, L, Uysal, S, Kauw, K, Weekenborg, J, Schönenberger, M, Klooster-Kwakkelstein, S, Schoenmakers, M, Scharwächter, W, Van De Weerd, A, El Baouchi, S, Schuit, AJ & Wagemakers, A 2017, 'Public health citizen science; perceived impacts on citizen scientists: A case study in a low-income neighbourhood in the Netherlands', Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, vol. 2, no. 1, 89. https://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.89

    Public health citizen science; perceived impacts on citizen scientists : A case study in a low-income neighbourhood in the Netherlands. / Den Broeder, Lea; Lemmens, Lidwien; Uysal, Serfanim; Kauw, Karin; Weekenborg, Jitske; Schönenberger, Michaela; Klooster-Kwakkelstein, Simone; Schoenmakers, Mieke; Scharwächter, Willie; Van De Weerd, Annemarije; El Baouchi, Samira; Schuit, A.J.; Wagemakers, Annemarie.

    In: Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, Vol. 2, No. 1, 89, 2017.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Public health citizen science; perceived impacts on citizen scientists

    T2 - A case study in a low-income neighbourhood in the Netherlands

    AU - Den Broeder, Lea

    AU - Lemmens, Lidwien

    AU - Uysal, Serfanim

    AU - Kauw, Karin

    AU - Weekenborg, Jitske

    AU - Schönenberger, Michaela

    AU - Klooster-Kwakkelstein, Simone

    AU - Schoenmakers, Mieke

    AU - Scharwächter, Willie

    AU - Van De Weerd, Annemarije

    AU - El Baouchi, Samira

    AU - Schuit, A.J.

    AU - Wagemakers, Annemarie

    PY - 2017

    Y1 - 2017

    N2 - Citizen science – the active participation of lay people in research – may yield crucial local knowledge and increase research capacity. Recently, there is growing interest to understand benefits for citizen scientists themselves. We studied the perceived impacts of participation in a public health citizen science project on citizen scientists in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Local citizen scientists, characterised by low income and low educational level – many of whom were of migrant origin – were trained to interview fellow residents about health-enhancing and health-damaging neighbourhood features. Experiences of these citizen scientists were collected through focus groups and interviews and analysed using a theoretical model of potential citizen science benefits. The results show that the citizen scientists perceived participation in the project as a positive experience. They acquired a broader understanding of health and its determinants and knowledge about healthy lifestyles, and took action to change their own health behaviour. They reported improved self confidence and social skills, and expanded their network across cultural boundaries. Health was perceived as a topic that helped people with different backgrounds to relate to one another. The project also induced joint action to improve the neighbourhood’s health. We conclude that citizen science benefits participants with low educational or literacy level. Moreover, it seems to be a promising approach that can help promote health in underprivileged communities by strengthening personal skills and social capital. However, embedding projects in broader health promotion strategies and long-term engagement of citizen scientists should be pursued to accomplish this.

    AB - Citizen science – the active participation of lay people in research – may yield crucial local knowledge and increase research capacity. Recently, there is growing interest to understand benefits for citizen scientists themselves. We studied the perceived impacts of participation in a public health citizen science project on citizen scientists in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Local citizen scientists, characterised by low income and low educational level – many of whom were of migrant origin – were trained to interview fellow residents about health-enhancing and health-damaging neighbourhood features. Experiences of these citizen scientists were collected through focus groups and interviews and analysed using a theoretical model of potential citizen science benefits. The results show that the citizen scientists perceived participation in the project as a positive experience. They acquired a broader understanding of health and its determinants and knowledge about healthy lifestyles, and took action to change their own health behaviour. They reported improved self confidence and social skills, and expanded their network across cultural boundaries. Health was perceived as a topic that helped people with different backgrounds to relate to one another. The project also induced joint action to improve the neighbourhood’s health. We conclude that citizen science benefits participants with low educational or literacy level. Moreover, it seems to be a promising approach that can help promote health in underprivileged communities by strengthening personal skills and social capital. However, embedding projects in broader health promotion strategies and long-term engagement of citizen scientists should be pursued to accomplish this.

    U2 - 10.5334/cstp.89

    DO - 10.5334/cstp.89

    M3 - Article

    VL - 2

    JO - Citizen Science: Theory and Practice

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