Managing Complex Field Data Collection: Coordinating In-home Collection of Survey Data, Medical and Dental Exams, and Biospecimens
Kilpatrick, G. L., Dimitropoulos, L. L., Johnson, J. D., & Loft, J. D. (2005, May). Managing Complex Field Data Collection: Coordinating In-home Collection of Survey Data, Medical and Dental Exams, and Biospecimens. Presented at International Field Directors and Technologies Conference, Miami Beach, FL.
This project represents the third round of the Study of Development through the Life Cycle, a longitudinal survey of a sample of 1,125 adults located across the country. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of early experiences on multiple areas of adult health and development. The data collection for this wave of the study involved conducting a lengthy interview coupled with a complete medical examination, a brief oral health examination, a 5-vial blood draw and a Mantoux TB test. The complexity of the data collection required that we use both field interviewers and RNs because of the level of medical and dental data collected. In addition, special training was required for the Mantoux TB test administration because it involves injecting an antigen under the skin and it requires a 48 to 72 hour window before the results can be read. In order to meet requirements for reading the TB test, the data collection was conducted in two sessions scheduled approximately 48 to 72 hours apart. During visit 1, a registered nurse conducted a physical examination, collected blood and administered the TB test. A field interviewer then administered the visit 1 survey and collected a dust sample. During visit 2, the interviewer administered the second set of survey measures and read the TB test. Attendees can expect to learn about the challenges of fielding such a complex data collection focusing specifically on issues related to staffing and training, state and federal regulations, adverse event reporting, and reporting confidential medical data. The paper will also discuss the lessons learned with regard to coordinating the schedules for participants, and field staff and RNs to complete two in-home visits within the required 72-hour window. Design issues related to including sample members who live in remote areas of the U.S. or who are in prison will also be discussed.