180238 Triangulation of formative data in an infant mortality prevention campaign

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:25 AM

May G. Kennedy, PhD, MPH , Department of Social & Behavioral Health, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Allison Sepulveda, MA , Center on Health Disparities, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Judith Bradford, PhD , Community Health Research, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Sheryl Garland , Center on Health Disparities, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Saba Masho, MD, MPH, DrPH , Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Wally R. Smith, MD , Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

In Richmond, Virginia, there were from 2-4 times as many infant deaths among African-Americans as among whites between 2000-2004. A prevention communication campaign is a part of a large research center initiative to address this disparity. Campaign staff helped form a coalition of researchers and local service providers to coordinate efforts. Campaign evaluators collected several types of IRB-exempt formative data to identify a focal maternal behavior change for the campaign.


Key informant surveys were conducted with bench scientists and community partners. They rated 7 potential campaign foci for mortality burden, behavior change feasibility, and overlap with existing local efforts. Two scientific literature reviews were conducted, and local research colleagues shared preliminary analyses of data from infant death certificates in Richmond.


The highest rated maternal behavior change was smoking cessation. Literature reviews confirmed that smoking accounted for more variance in infant mortality than other maternal behaviors and identified determinants of smoking among high-risk African-American women and model anti-smoking programs. The anti-smoking focus was validated by death certificate data.


Agreement across data sources increased the confidence of campaign partners in early planning decisions which were congruent with national research and practice priorities. At coalition meetings for sharing data, partners identified directions and resources for further research and for the campaign. Coalition members learned about formative research and viewed this as a benefit of coalition participation.


Readily gathered formative research can catalyze networking and data-sharing among researchers and service providers and guide infant mortality prevention efforts.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate the value of a feasible, agreed-upon behavioral objective in an infant mortality prevention campaign. 2. Apply the concept of formative data triangulation. 3. Recognize the value of multi-method formative data collection in coalition building.

Keywords: Infant Mortality, Smoking Cessation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I led the formative research described.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.