Workers in the retail industry are at greatest risk for workplace homicide, the majority of which are committed during a robbery. Evidence-based programs to reduce robbery risk have shown great success in retail settings. However, information about how to disseminate these programs to maximize uptake is largely unavailable, especially for small businesses. Surveys have shown that most small businesses have implemented very few to none of the standard evidence-based program recommendations on their own, but will choose more expensive and less effective methods of deterrence. Based on research currently being conducted by the study team, when offered a less expensive, evidence-based program, many business operators will either decline participation or show interest in the program and not comply with the recommendations. It is critical to identify effective methods of disseminating evidence-based program information to small business operators and to translate it into effective program implementation. The objectives of this proposed translational project are to identify barriers to implementation of an evidence- based robbery and violence prevention program among small retail businesses, and to develop approaches to overcome barriers and increase uptake of effective strategies. This will be accomplished by examining multiple levels of potential influence, including methods of program delivery;characteristics of the program materials; business operator attitudes and behaviors toward robbery prevention;and the role of social networks in building trust and motivation for program participation.
The specific aims are to: (1) identify business operator preferences for the design, delivery and marketing of an evidence-based robbery and violence prevention program, (2) understand how business operators determine that they do not need to participate in such a program, and (3) examine the extent to which social networks can play a supportive role in influencing the behavior of business operators to participate and implement an evidence-based program recommendations. The proposed project builds on two NIOSH-funded studies where six police departments nationwide are disseminating an evidence-based program to small retail establishments at high risk for robbery and related crimes. In the proposed study, three populations of business operators, representing various phases of program participation and implementation, will be selected from three of the six department jurisdictions. Business operators will be interviewed using an instrument developed from social marketing, health behavior and social support network models. The purpose of the interviews is to identify factors that would influence business operator use of an evidence-based program, including the identification of social networks that may lend credibility and acceptability of the program, and therefore greater program uptake. Members of these social networks will then be convened for focus group interviews to identify how they may support outreach and recruitment efforts. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to address the aims.
Evidence-based programs to reduce robbery risk have shown great success in retail settings. However, information about how to disseminate these programs to maximize uptake is largely unavailable, especially for small businesses. The proposed project is a critical next step to identify how evidence-based robbery and violence prevention strategies can be successfully disseminated to small businesses, which traditionally have limited or no access to occupational health and safety programs.