May 2008

Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


This descriptive study explored the utility of expanded sociodemographic and mental model constructs in predicting home radon testing and pre-testing awareness for rural, low-income families in Montana (n=170). Participants were recipients of public health services and earned less than 200% of the federal poverty level. From questionnaire data, ninety percent of study participants had not tested their homes for radon. Radon risk reduction behaviors did not differ by householder status (rent/own) (x[superscript2]([subscript1,170])=1.32, p=.25; OR=1.06; CI=0.95-1.2; p=.3 Fisher's Exact Test). A model of five sociodemographic and three mental model variables were significant in predicting whether participants who had not tested their homes had ever heard of the health effects of radon (x[superscript 2]([subscript 8,153])=21.07,p<.01). Years of education and radon knowledge score were variables retained in the final model (x2[superscript 2]([subscript 2,153])=21.32,p<.01, Nagelkerke R[superscript 2]=0.17). External validity is limited by geographic isolation of participants and non-probablistic sampling design. Findings support the utility of a 19-item radon knowledge instrument in discriminating between levels of pre-testing awareness (x[superscript 2]([subscript153,1])=6.09,p=.01,OR=2.33,95% CI=1.18-4.60). Continued refinement and further testing of the TERRA conceptual framework (Butterfield et al., 2008) are indicated.




School of Nursing



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