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Ecological momentary assessment plus designs: A case study of implementation on fly-in, fly-out workers and their partners
journal contributionposted on 28.06.2021, 23:12 authored by Amanda RebarAmanda Rebar, Kristie-Lee AlfreyKristie-Lee Alfrey, Benjamin Gardner, Corneel VandelanotteCorneel Vandelanotte
This case study will take you through the development and implementation processes of a study utilizing an innovative design strategy: ecological momentary assessment plus (EMA+). EMA+ studies involve repeated quantitative sampling of participants’ current psychosocial and behavioral experiences with qualitative supplemental components. As an example of how EMA+ can reveal insight into dynamic behavioral and psychosocial experiences, we describe our study on a unique work roster style, fly-in, fly-out, in which workers are temporarily relocated for on-shift times and return to their residency for off-shift times. We take you through our decision-making and implementation processes from idea generation to dissemination of scientific publications. The topics we cover include managing an EMA+ study with a modest budget, coordinating project management, and how to capture rich qualitative and quantitative data across time to reveal comprehensive perspectives on the participants’ experiences. What started as interest in the dynamics of partners managing physical and mental health amid arduous work rosters of fly-in, fly-out workers resulted in the very first study to investigate the day-to-day mental and physical health of both fly-in, fly-out workers and their partners, enriched with qualitative data. Our EMA+ design allowed us to investigate dyads (worker and their partner) across time (daily assessments for 14 days) and between contexts (on-shift at work [partners living apart] and off-shift at home [partners living together]). Relations between behavior and psychosocial experiences can be complex and change rapidly over time; such dynamic processes can be studied and analyzed cost-effectively through EMA+ designs.