Development and validation of a brief version of the research engagement survey tool

Melody S. Goodman, Nicole Ackermann, Kristyn A. Pierce, Deborah J. Bowen, Vetta Sanders Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Research Engagement Survey Tool (REST) examines the level of partner engagement in research studies. This study used mixed methods, including web‐based surveys (N = 336), a mod-ified Delphi process (N = 18), and cognitive response interviews (N = 16), with convenience sampling to develop and validate a short version of the REST. We conducted factor analysis and calculated internal consistency for the condensed REST. We validated the condensed REST against the comprehensive REST. All analyses were carried out on two scales (quality and quantity) based on Likert-type response options. We examined convergent validity with other measures theoretically associ-ated with the REST (e.g., the Community Engagement Research Index and the Partnership Self‐ Assessment Tool). This study produced a 9‐item condensed version of the REST. The condensed REST loads on 1 factor, has high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.92 for the quantity scale; 0.94 for the quality scale), is significantly correlated (ρ = 0.97; p < 0.001 for both scales) with the comprehensive (32‐item) REST, and has negligible, low, and moderate correlation with other measures (e.g., the Partnership Assessment In community‐based Research, trust in medical re-searchers, and the Coalition Self‐Assessment Survey). Use of the condensed REST will reduce par-ticipant burden and time to complete. This standardized and validated quantitative measure is useful to compare engagement across projects or within a project over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10020
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Research engagement
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Survey scale
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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