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Participative risk communication in an industrial village in Sardinia
  1. A Mereu,
  2. C Sardu,
  3. L Minerba,
  4. A Sotgiu,
  5. P Contu
  1. Department of Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor P Contu
 Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, via Porcell 4, 09100 Cagliari, Italy; pcontu{at}


Objective: In Italy the law on industrial risk has emphasised the necessity of building a local information process to answer people’s questions on safety and provide greater community participation in risk management. The aim of this research is to analyse the local population’s ideas and expectations of a participatory approach in risk management in order to design a risk communication programme based on health promotion principles.

Design, setting and participants: The study was carry out in Portoscuso (Italy), an industrial district. A questionnaire was administrated through home interviews to 147 citizens.

Main results: Six risk management styles were identified on the basis of citizens’ trust in the different stakeholders. Additional parameters (importance of information, organisations they would trust to get information on industrial risks, preferred risk communication methodologies) were analysed according to the management styles.

Conclusions: On the basis of these elements, a multi-approach strategy could be proposed. Each management style can have different roles. A programme of public forums could involve citizens with an interactive approach, interactive courses could involve citizens with a semi-participative approach, and leaflets and booklets could inform citizens oriented towards unidirectional communication. The participative process should always be open to new contributions from citizens who are not directly involved, and should allow for flexibility in the form and nature of partnership, as well as the details of implementation.

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  • Research project financed by Sardinian Regional Government.

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