Melissa Finucane

Melissa Finucane
Environmental Defense Fund

About

107
Publications
43,297
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14,878
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Publications

Publications (107)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding public media channel preferences can inform preparedness plans, response strategies and long‐term recovery. However, questions remain about how media consumption changes across pre‐crisis, crisis, and post‐crisis phases. Past theories argue that media use may change for several reasons, including during times of societal conflict and...
Article
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Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) pandemic. Since the pandemic’s start, we have observed compounded health, social, and economic impacts for communities of color, fueled in part by profound residential segregation in the United States that, for centu...
Article
Objective: Population-based information on the extent of perceived need for mental health treatment and clinically significant psychological distress can help inform strategies for responding to the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A representative sample of U.S. adults, age 20 and over (N = 1,957), completed surveys in May a...
Article
INTRODUCTION The COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing increased stressors related to risk for domestic conflict but increases in domestic conflict early in the pandemic have yet to be studied in community samples. METHODS Increase in domestic conflict (verbal or physical fights) since the beginning of the pandemic was assessed in 119...
Article
Full-text available
The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill is the only declared Spill of National Significance in US history, and it significantly impacted the health of people and communities in the Gulf of Mexico region. These impacts amplified adverse effects of prior disasters and may compound those of future traumas. Studies, both to date and ongoing, show some ne...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial stress and disrupted daily life more quickly than any prior economic downturn and on a scale beyond any prior natural disaster. This study aimed to assess the impact of the pandemic on psychological distress and identify vulnerable groups using longitudinal data to account for pre-pandemic mental health st...
Article
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On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, and oil spilled from the breached well-head for months, leading to an unprecedented environmental disaster with implications for behavioral health. Disasters are thought to affect behavioral health, and social capital is thought to ameliorate behavioral health impacts after disasters, thoug...
Article
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The Gulf of Mexico (GoM) region is prone to disasters, including recurrent oil spills, hurricanes, floods, industrial accidents, harmful algal blooms, and the current COVID-19 pandemic. The GoM and other regions of the U.S. lack sufficient baseline health information to identify, attribute, mitigate, and facilitate prevention of major health effect...
Technical Report
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It describes a framework for a health observing system encompassing existing cross-sectional population surveys and new, proposed longitudinal cohort studies to identify health impacts of future disasters along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast. The plan should be adaptable for many environmental disaster-prone regions and for use track other health pr...
Article
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Plain Language Summary Interdependent physical and social systems offer enormous benefits for daily life because they produce and distribute essential goods and services that are necessary for health, safety, and economic well‐being. For instance, the power grid is required for effective functioning of information systems and cell phones, which und...
Article
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Researchers have traditionally conceptualized hazards that give rise to disasters as “natural” or “technological.” An extensive literature has documented differential social consequences based on this distinction, including the emergence of corrosive community dynamics in the context of technological disasters. There is also growing recognition tha...
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While a wide body of research has indicated that social resources may be enhanced through religious practice, few studies have explored how social resources are impacted by the intersection of the social and individual domains of religion. Using data from the recently conducted Survey of Trauma, Resilience, and Opportunity among Neighborhoods in th...
Article
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In the immediate aftermath of disaster, governments usually act quickly to reduce risk and to recover their communities’ socio-economic functioning. Policy makers in these situations need—but may not have the capacity or time for—substantial analysis and public debate about how to balance short- and long-term societal needs. Inadequate attention to...
Book
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest in U.S. history, releasing an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The scale of the disaster motivated diverse stakeholders to examine the human dimensions of the spill and how communities' resilience to similar threats could be improved. This examination is needed...
Article
Large oil spills are disasters associated with psychological effects for exposed communities. The amount of worry that individuals experience after a disaster may be influenced by many factors, such as the type and extent of exposure to disaster impacts, prior trauma, and sociodemographic characteristics. This study examined the nature and predicto...
Article
Disasters are typically unforeseen, causing most social and behavioral studies about disasters to be reactive. Occasionally, predisaster data are available, for example, when disasters happen while a study is already in progress or where data collected for other purposes already exist, but planned pre-post designs are all but nonexistent. This gap...
Article
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Recent concerns with pandemic outbreaks of human disease and their origins in animal populations have ignited concerns regarding connections between Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) and development. As disasters, health, and infectious disease become part of planning concern (Matthew & McDonald, 2007), greater focus on household infrastructure an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The goals of this joint U.S. Geological Survey, University of Hawaiʻi, University of Guam, University of Texas, and East-West Center study were to (1) provide basic understanding about water resources for U.S. Department of Defense installations on Guam and (2) assess the resulting effect of sea-level rise and a changing climate on freshwater avail...
Article
This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge on mental health in the aftermath of disasters by examining depressive symptoms among residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast region 6 years after the onset of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DHOS). Using data from the Survey of Trauma, Resilience, and Opportunity in Neighborhoods in the Gulf (STRON...
Article
Delivering risk and crisis communication to US Gulf Coast residents poses a unique challenge to individual and organizational responders. The region has endured several natural and man-made disasters, spanning Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and more recently Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In the future, the US Gulf Coast is expect...
Article
Objective The aim of this study was to (1) assess the long-term mental and behavioral health outcomes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill of residents in the Gulf Coast and to (2) identify populations that may be particularly vulnerable to future disasters. Methods The Survey of Trauma, Resilience, and Opportunity in Neighborhoods in the Gulf (STRO...
Article
Delivering risk and crisis communication to US Gulf Coast residents poses a unique challenge to individual and organizational responders. The region has endured several natural and man-made disasters, spanning Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and more recently Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In the future, the US Gulf Coast is expect...
Article
For two decades, various initiatives have encouraged Americans to consider quality when choosing clinicians, both to enhance informed choice and to reduce disparities in access to high-quality providers. The literature portrays these efforts as largely ineffective. But this depiction overlooks two factors: the dramatic expansion since 2010 in the a...
Article
Policy Points • Narratives about patients’ experiences with outpatient care are essential for quality improvement because they convey ample actionable information that both elaborates on existing domains within patient experience surveys and describes multiple additional domains that are important to patients. • The content of narrative feedback f...
Article
Research and practice aimed at enhancing community resilience to disasters such as hurricanes have focused primarily on the survival of individuals and the development of social capital and networks. Less consideration has been given to the dynamics of social-ecological conditions that can govern post-disaster outcomes. This article provides a rati...
Article
Background Public reports on healthcare quality typically include complex data. To lower the cognitive burden of interpreting these data, some report designers create summary, or roll-up, measures combining multiple indicators of quality into one score. Little is known about how the availability of roll-ups affects clinician choice. Objective To d...
Article
Patient narratives have emerged as promising vehicles for making health care more responsive by helping clinicians to better understand their patients’ expectations, perceptions, or concerns and encouraging consumers to engage with information about quality. A growing number of websites incorporate patients’ comments. But existing comments have fra...
Article
Consumers choosing a health-care provider have access to diverse information including narratives by patients about their prior experiences. However, little research has examined how narratives might improve or impede the use of information about the quality of providers’ performance. This paper describes a conceptual framework for examining mechan...
Article
We conducted a simulated clinician-choice experiment, comparing choices and decision-making processes of participants (N = 688) randomized among four experimental arms: a conventional website reporting only quantitative performance information, a website reporting both qualitative (patient comments) and quantitative information, the second website...
Article
Objectives: To understand the views of prominent organizations in the field of healthcare quality on the topic of reporting roll-up measures that combine indicators of multiple, often disparate, dimensions of care to consumers. Study design: This study used a semi-structured, qualitative interview design. Methods: We conducted 30- to 60-minute...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To investigate whether content from patient narratives explains variation in patients’ primary care provider (PCP) ratings beyond information from the closed-ended questions of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Clinician and Group Survey and whether the relative placement of closed- and open-ended survey...
Article
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is an important public health concern because of potential for widespread morbidity and mortality in humans and poultry and associated devastating economic losses. We examined how perceptions of the risk of HPAI in poultry vary across communes/wards in the north of Vietnam at different levels of urbanization...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are expanding very rapidly in Asia, often without adequate housing, transportation, water, or sanitation. These new “peri-urban” areas may be hot spots for disease, both in humans and domestic animals. Research into the possible link between unplanned urban expansion and disease outbreaks compared patterns of land-use change with two major...
Chapter
To support growing populations in Hawai‘i, groundwater pumping is increasing, so an understanding of the interactions between future land cover, groundwater, and climate change is needed. This project used a participatory scenario planning approach with stakeholders on the island of Maui to create spatially explicit depictions of future island land...
Article
Objective: To design a methodology for rigorously eliciting narratives about patients' experiences with clinical care that is potentially useful for public reporting and quality improvement. Data sources/study setting: Two rounds of experimental data (N = 48 each) collected in 2013-2014, using a nationally representative Internet panel. Study d...
Chapter
Over the past several decades, the need for societally relevant, decision-oriented climate research has increased. However, there is limited empirical evidence that clarifies as to what activities and institutions most effectively provide climate information and decision-support services to diverse stakeholders. Thus, understanding the extent to wh...
Article
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Building on a series of ground breaking reviews that first defined and drew attention to emerging infectious diseases (EID), the 'convergence model' was proposed to explain the multifactorial causality of disease emergence. The model broadly hypothesizes disease emergence is driven by the coincidence of genetic, physical environmental, ecological,...
Article
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The climate science community of professionals in Hawai’i and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands is a vast interdisciplinary and international group, with the potential for spatial and sectoral barriers to communication and collaboration. This study sought to (1) assess the structural nature and expanse of climate-based communication between profe...
Article
When choosing clinicians, patients often rely on comments available on consumer websites. The authors argue that public reporting of standardized patient satisfaction surveys could be improved if they were augmented by narrative accounts of patients' experiences.
Article
Climate variability and change present significant challenges for island communities in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. Understanding how climate science can be useful for island communities requires knowledge of decision-makers, their climate-sensitive decisions, and the context in which the decisions are being made. In this paper we report...
Article
The urban transition almost always involves wrenching social adjustment as small agricultural communities are forced to adjust rapidly to industrial ways of life. Large-scale in-migration of young people, usually from poor regions, creates enormous demand and expectations for community and social services. One immediate problem planners face in app...
Article
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Unraveling mechanisms that underlie new and reemerging infectious diseases (EID) requires exploring complex interactions within and among coupled natural and human (CNH) systems. This scientifi c problem poses one of the most diffi cult challenges for society today (Wilcox and Colwell 2005 ). EID are diseases that have recently increased in inciden...
Article
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This research examined how perceptions of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N1 in poultry are related to urbanization. Via in-depth interviews with village leaders, household farmers, and large farm operators in modern, transitional, and traditional communes in the north of Vietnam, we explored behaviors, attitudes, cu...
Technical Report
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https://www.eastwestcenter.org/publications/role-urbanization-land-use-diversity-and-livestock-intensification-in-zoonotic-emerging
Article
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Understanding how climate science can be useful in decisions about the management of freshwater resources requires knowledge of decision makers, their climate-sensitive decisions, and the context in which the decisions are being made. A mixed-methods study found that people managing freshwater resources in Hawaii are highly educated and experienced...
Article
Maintaining the health and wealth of Australia depends vitally on protecting the nation's environmental and cultural treasures while capitalizing on the opportunities presented by new technologies and products. Achieving a balance between protection and progression, however, is influenced considerably by prevailing perceptions of the risks associat...
Book
Full-text available
Climate Change and Pacific Islands: indicators and impacts Report for the 2012 Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) National Climate Assessment regional technical input report series
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of key conceptualizations of and evidence for the role of feelings in perceived risk. Influence from feelings in judgment and decision making was first recognized nearly three decades ago. More recent work has developed models that generalize the mechanisms by which feelings operate. Feelings may play multiple role...
Article
Computer-based systems have been developed to help people make decisions. Only some of these systems try to tailor support to the individual user; even fewer try to assess a user's needs within the framework of a psychological theory. Behavioural decision theory (BDT) provides a framework for assessing individual needs. Models of individual users c...
Chapter
Stem-cell research is touted by some as a medical revolution giving rise to unprecedented hopes. Others view it as a violation of fundamental human values. Decisions about the acceptability or non-acceptability of translational research agendas will ultimately depend on a reconciliation of many psychosocial and cultural factors affecting judgment a...
Article
Full-text available
Human habitation has made significant intrusions into forested lands, particularly in the western United States, but in other parts of the world as well. At the interface of the natural and built environments, known as the wildland-urban interface (WUI), communities and property owners are exposed to the potential ravages of wildland fire. Efforts...
Article
The authors evaluated the reliability and validity of a tool for measuring older adults' decision-making competence (DMC). A sample of 205 younger adults (25-45 years), 208 young-older adults (65-74 years), and 198 old-older adults (75-97 years) made judgments and decisions related to health, finance, and nutrition. Reliable indices of comprehensio...
Article
The Pacific Islands are extraordinarily vulnerable to the effects of climate change. And although policymakers are turning to science to answer questions of how communities should deal with climate challenges, scientific knowledge is only one element of an effective risk-management process. The people of the Pacific Islands hold diverse beliefs abo...
Article
Background: The ability to understand orally communicated health-related messages is a critical component of health literacy. Recent attention has focused primarily on the prevalence and impact of inadequate health literacy with regard to written communication, largely ignoring that the majority of health information is communicated orally. Most Am...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to identify the cultural values, traditions, and perceptions of diabetes risk and self-care among Filipino Americans in Hawaii with type 2 diabetes that facilitate or impede engagement in diabetes self-management behaviors and education classes. This qualitative study used 2 rounds of semistructured focus groups and in...
Article
Recent research suggests that emotion, affect, and cognition play important roles in risk perception and that their roles in judgment and decision-making processes may change over the lifespan. This paper discusses how emotion and affect might help or hinder risk communication with older adults. Currently, there are few guidelines for developing ef...
Article
In this paper, we describe the aims, intervention, and design of the Work, Weight, and Wellness program, a group-randomized worksite obesity prevention and intervention trial being conducted at 31 hotels with 11,559 employees on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. We report baseline prevalence of overweight and obesity, and the distribution of BMI (kilog...
Article
This paper introduces a theoretical framework that describes the importance of affect in guiding judgments and decisions. As used here, “affect” means the specific quality of “goodness” or “badness” (i) experienced as a feeling state (with or without consciousness) and (ii) demarcating a positive or negative quality of a stimulus. Affective respons...
Article
Studies of public perceptions of hazardous activities and technologies include a wide range of approaches. One approach—“risk‐as‐analysis”—emphasizes the human capacity for analytic deliberation. A second approach—“risk‐as‐feelings”—emphasizes the tendency for people to rely on affective reactions. In this paper we expand and link these approaches...