Materials and Resources

Toolkit

CDC’s Health Studies (HS) has developed the CASPER toolkit Cdc-pdf[PDF – 2.56 MB] to assist personnel from any local, state, regional, or federal agency in conducting the CASPER. The CASPER toolkit provides guidelines on data collection tool development, methodology, sample selection, training, data collection, analysis, and report writing. A presentation template Cdc-ppt[PPT – 34 MB] (508 Compliant PDF version Cdc-pdf[PDF – 10 MB])  for CASPER training based on the toolkit is also available.

Tracking Form

The Tracking Form Cdc-pdf[Print-only PDF – 180 KB] is used to monitor the outcome of every interview attempt and is the basis for calculating the response rates (completion, contact, and cooperation). It should be completed for each household selected, even those that are inaccessible. It is recommended to print the tracking form on bright colored paper to remind interview teams of its importance and encourage completion.

More information on a CASPER tracking form is available in the CASPER toolkit, section 3.4.1. Cdc-pdf[PDF]

Consent Script

When interview teams arrive at a household, they should be prepared to give an introduction and obtain consent. The survey participant must give explicit verbal consent to participate in the CASPER interview. It is helpful to have a script written for the interviewers to recite. The following is an example of a consent script:

More information on a CASPER consent script is available in the CASPER toolkit, section 3.4.4 Cdc-pdf[PDF]

Confidential Referral Form

Field interview teams must be prepared to respond if they come across an urgent need that presents an immediate threat to life or health. Typically, teams that encounter a household with urgent needs should encourage or assist the household to call emergency services (911). In the event that calling 911 is not appropriate, the teams should complete a confidential referral form Cdc-word[DOCX – 15 KB]. This form is immediately communicated to the CASPER team coordinator for rapid follow-up.

More information on CASPER confidential referral forms is available in the CASPER toolkit, section 3.4.2 Cdc-pdf[PDF]

Questionnaire

It is important to remember that CASPER questions are asked at the household level. HS has multiple resources for CASPER questionnaire development including the following:

Questionnaires from previous CASPERs are available by request, including

Example questionnaires:

HS has multiple questionnaires from previous CASPERs available. Please contact Amy Schnall (GHU5@cdc.gov) for available questionnaire and EpiInfo templates. A limited number of questionnaires are available online. You may access them through the NIH Disaster Research Response Project (DR2)External search term “CASPER” or by clicking on the links provided from the Interactive Map of CASPERs.

More information on questionnaire development, including general guidance, question categories, and weighing data collection options, is available in the CASPER toolkit, section 3.3 Cdc-pdf[PDF]

Interview Tips and CASPER Teams

The CASPER Interview Tips Cdc-pdf[PDF – 3.35 MB] provides a general guideline for making the interview successful. More information on interviewing is available in the CASPER Toolkit, section 3.8.2 Cdc-pdf[PDF]. CASPER interview teams should always have at least two members. The goal is to get a diverse team of two: male/female, local/non-local, experienced/inexperienced, etc. The Texas Department of State Health Services has created a document of CASPER team member testimonials Cdc-pdf[PDF – 32 KB] which includes team member experiences conducting CASPER in the field and a short video  developed by Harris County Department of Health on just-in-time training

EpiInfo 7

EpiInfo 7 is the recommended statistical package for entering and analyzing CASPER data. EpiInfo 7 is free, user-friendly, and can be downloaded on any computer (including those with administrative restrictions). There are multiple sources and guidance documents for using EpiInfo including the following:

Specific EpiInfo templates for CASPER are available for download on the Disaster Epidemiology Community of Practice (DECoP) SharePoint site (instructions to request access to the DECoP are here Cdc-word[DOCX – 17 KB]) or by contacting the Health Studies Branch.

Communications and Press Release

Prior to conducting a CASPER in the field, it is advisable that you let local leadership and police department(s) know that there will be interview teams in the area. Further, we advise letting the community know that you are conducting a CASPER in their area. This may increase the likelihood that residents are home, open the door, and are willing to participate in the assessment. Discuss with your leadership and communication staff on the best way to reach your target community. Some suggestions include advertising on your health department webpage, providing a press release, or posting on social media. Some examples of press releases include

Public Health Material

Take the opportunity to distribute public health materials while your interview teams are in the community. This information can range in topic from health education related to the disaster (e.g., carbon monoxide poisoning prevention, proper cleanup methods) to emergency preparedness (e.g., what is in an emergency supply kit, contact information for disaster services) to other health information (e.g., upcoming influenza season information). This public health material should be given out regardless of participation status, and should be given to interested community members who were not selected to be in the CASPER.

Requesting CASPER

HS provides technical assistance remotely and in field (by request and availability). If you would like CDC assistance in conducting a CASPER in your jurisdiction, please visit the CDC Health Studies Branch Disaster Training and Response webpage. When requesting field assistance, please be as detailed as possible by specifying the objective(s) of the CASPER and specific activities requiring CDC assistance.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) and CASPER

Please ensure to follow your local IRB guidance for all CASPER-related activities and materials. It is recommended that you have your local IRB review the proposed CASPER activities in advance to determine whether the CASPER would require IRB. Many times, especially during a response, you may complete a determination form to exempt you from the full IRB process. This is because CASPERs tend to be classified as public health non-research or public health practice, and are not considered research.

Other CASPER Materials and Resources

There are several available CASPER materials and resources created by CDC and our partners.

Page last reviewed: May 17, 2018