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Your Environment. Your Health.

Culturally Tailored App Shares Risks from Fish

Matthew Dellinger, Ph.D.
Medical College of Wisconsin

An NIEHS grantee and colleagues developed and tested a new interactive mobile phone app they developed to communicate fish consumption advice to Native Americans in the upper Great Lakes region. The app — called Gigiigoo'inaan, or “Our Fish” — features custom made woodland-styled digital images to present fish consumption information in an aesthetically pleasing and culturally relevant way.

The app provides personalized recommendations for fish consumption based on data the Chippewa Ottowa Resource Authority gathers about fish contaminants in Great Lake Native American tribal fisheries. After entering personal information on weight, age, and gender, the software calculates risk and benefit estimates and provides the user with a list of fish ranked from most to least beneficial based on the user’s weight, age, and gender. The user can then select a fish to access personalized safe consumption ranges.

The researchers partnered with the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan to recruit focus groups to pilot test the app for usability, influence on dietary behavior, and cultural appropriateness. Focus group participants said they found the general concept of the app and the presentation of the data culturally acceptable and pleasing. Information gathered from the focus groups supported the researchers’ assumption that the tribes desire messaging that promotes the stewardship and use of natural resources.

Citation: Dellinger MJ, Olson J, Clark R, Pingatore, Ripley MP. 2017. Development and pilot testing of a model to translate risk assessment data for Great Lakes Native American communities using mobile technology. Hum Ecol Risk Assess; doi:10.1080/10807039.2017.1377596 [Online 13 September 2017].

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