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Monica Grant, Free Primary Education & Age of First Birth in Malawi

William Axinn photo

Electronic Journal Data Collection Technologies for Interdisciplinary Research

a PSC Research Project

Investigators:   William Axinn, Mick P. Couper

Some of the most challenging and persistent health problems today are likely caused by complex interactions among multiple risk factors unfolding across time. We propose to develop and pilot test electronic journal data collection tools using Internet and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technologies. These tools will be designed to collect detailed dynamic social and behavioral measures and facilitate the linking of those measures to other information across the macro social and micro biological levels of analysis. Our proposed innovation is not in developing specific software and systems for the electronic data collections. Instead we aim to move the use of these methods beyond the limits of clinic- or lab-based studies among volunteers, to probability-based samples of the broader population. Our ultimate goal is to construct and refine the journal tools in a way to promote interdisciplinary collaborative research. To accomplish this, the project has four specific aims. Specific Aim 1: To assure the tools are designed for the broadest possible interdisciplinary applications, we propose to pilot and refine electronic journal tools for use among both clinical populations and the general population. Specific Aim 2: We propose to determine the most efficient methods of maximizing cooperation and retention via incentives, reminders, and refusal conversion strategies. Specific Aim 3: We propose to design specific techniques for using the tools to collect measures motivated by a wide range of different scientific disciplines using comparable strategies across both Internet and IVR technologies. Specific Aim 4: We propose to create techniques for using the journal tools to link together dynamic measures across multiple levels of analysis, spanning from community and social context, family context, and individual experience at the macro/social level to the organ, cellular, molecular, and genomic levels at the micro/biological level. To meet the specific aims of our research, we propose a four-year study led by an interdisciplinary team of project investigators and steering committee members. This team combines expertise in social science, mixed method data collection, survey research, neuroscience, women's health, genetic epidemiology, statistics, and nursing. Our diverse team of scientists will collaborate on every phase of this project to ensure the final product produced is a collection of multi-mode electronic journal data collection tools that promote interdisciplinary health research.

Funding Period: 09/26/2007 to 07/31/2012

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