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Using formative research to design an epidemiologic survey: the North Carolina study of home care and hospice nurses.

Leiss-JK; Lyden-JT; Klein-C
Epidemiol Health 2011 Sep; 33:e2011008
OBJECTIVES: Formative research can serve as a means of obtaining important information for designing an epidemiologic study, but descriptions of this approach in the epidemiologic literature are lacking. The objective of this paper is to describe the use of three formative research techniques in designing a survey of home care and hospice nurses. METHODS: We conducted two focus groups, seven key informant interviews, and approximately fifteen hours of direct observation among home care and hospice nurses recruited by word of mouth in North Carolina in 2006. RESULTS: We used information obtained from the formative research to decide which survey design would likely be most successful with this population (mail survey, as opposed to Internet survey or in-person interviews), which measure to use for the denominator of the blood exposure incidence rates (number of visits, as opposed to patient-time), and which items and response options to include in the questionnaire, as well as to identify specific survey techniques that would likely increase the response rate (emphasizing the regional focus of the study; sending the questionnaire to the home address). CONCLUSION: When particular information for planning a study is unavailable from the literature or the investigator's experience, formative research can be an effective means of obtaining that information.
Health-care-personnel; Nurses; Medical-care; Health-care; Health-services; Epidemiology; Health-surveys; Group-dynamics; Information-processing; Questionnaires; Bloodborne-pathogens; Data-processing; Author Keywords: Data collection; Focus groups; Nurses; Questionnaires; Surveys
Jack K. Leiss, PhD, Epidemiology Research Program, Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities, 6919 Lee St, Mebane, NC 27302
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Journal Article
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Epidemiology and Health
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Constella Group - Durham, North Carolina
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