• Journal Article

Customizing survey instruments and data collection to reach hispanic/latino adults in border communities in Texas

Citation

O'Hegarty, M., Pederson, L. L., Thorne, S. L., Caraballo, R. S., Evans, B., Athey, L., & McMichael, J. (2010). Customizing survey instruments and data collection to reach hispanic/latino adults in border communities in Texas. American Journal of Public Health, 100(S1), S159-S164. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.167338

Abstract

Objectives. We sought to modify an instrument and to use it to collect information on smoking knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors among Hispanics/Latinos, and to adapt survey methods to obtain high participation levels.

Methods. Promotoras (outreach workers) conducted face-to-face interviews with 1485 Hispanic adults (July 2007–April 2008). The project team used GeoFrame field enumeration methods to develop a sampling frame from households in randomly selected colonias (residential areas along the Texas–Mexico border that may lack some basic necessities (e.g. portable water), in El Paso, Texas.

Results. The revised questionnaire included 36 unchanged items from the State Adult Tobacco Survey, 7 modified items, and 17 new items focusing on possible culturally specific quitting methods, secondhand smoke issues, and attitudes and knowledge about tobacco use that might be unique for Hispanic/Latino groups. The eligibility rate was 90.2%, and the conservative combined completed screener and interview response rate was 80.0%.

Conclusions. Strategic, targeted, carefully designed methods and surveys can achieve high reach and response rates in hard-to-reach populations. Similar procedures could be used to obtain cooperation of groups who may not be accessible with traditional methods.