• Presentation

Challenges in Implementing an International Multi-Site Tobacco Use Survey of Pregnant Women


Goco, N., Thornberry, J. P., Jackson, D. W., Daniels, M. L., & Hartwell, T. D. (2005, December). Challenges in Implementing an International Multi-Site Tobacco Use Survey of Pregnant Women. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.


The Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research (GN) was established in 2000 with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand scientific knowledge relevant to improving health outcomes for women and children in developing countries. This network is composed of 10 research units in Latin America, Asia and Africa that are affiliated with 9 U.S. universities, a data coordinating center (DCC), and scientific staff at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

In collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, the GN is implementing a tobacco use survey of pregnant women in 11 countries. The objective is to obtain information on tobacco use status during pregnancy and information on the knowledge and attitudes regarding tobacco products, health hazards of tobacco use, and environmental tobacco smoke exposure. The survey is being implemented by all 10 research units. At least 750 women will be enrolled per country. Data collection began in October 2004 and is expected to be completed by June 2005.

This presentation describes the challenges that the GN encountered in the preparation and implementation of the survey and shares the strategies implemented to overcome them. Recommendations for the conduct of similar international multisite research include: conducting more formative research for questionnaire development; centralization of ethics oversight; giving precedence to local ethics committees for informed consent; consolidating control of the translation process; documenting the distance training experience; and designing a data entry system that closely mirrors the questionnaire.