246768 Collecting research data from Deaf ASL users: How do we know we're asking the right questions?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:20 PM

Carlene Mowl, MPH , Prevention Research Center: National Center for Deaf Health Research, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY
Amanda O'Hearn, PhD , Department of Psychiatry (Psychology), University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY
Tiffany Panko, MBA , National Center for Deaf Health Research, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY
Erika J. Sutter, MPH , Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Steven Barnett, MD , Family Medicine Research Programs, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY
The Deaf population is a cultural and linguistic minority, and as such, many survey methods are inappropriate for use with this group (i.e. written surveys, telephone surveys). The National Center for Deaf Health Research has adapted and tested existing and novel surveys for use in the Deaf population. Surveys are translated into sign language and filmed for use on a touchscreen computer kiosk. Before the surveys are used in the field, we pilot test them using Cognitive Interviews. Interviews are conducted in two rooms separated by a one-way mirror. The participant takes the survey in one room while the research team observes from the other room; then an interviewer uses a script to ask the participant about his/her experience taking the survey.

Cognitive interviews have informed different levels of study design. Early cognitive interviews revealed problems with the kiosk's hardware and interface. As a result, we upgraded our technology and made improvements to the interface. Cognitive interviews have also led to changes in survey content. We have added questions that participants felt were missing and we have rephrased questions that were not clear initially. Lastly, cognitive interviews have provided insight into data interpretation. For example, one participant's responses to a set of questions seemed to be in conflict; however, when probed in the interview about the thought processes used to respond, the participant's reasoning was clear and the response pattern was correct.

Cognitive interviews help to maximize comprehension and improve survey quality, and are an essential step in adapting surveys for Deaf populations.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the importance of conducting cognitive interviews prior to fielding adapted survey instruments.

Keywords: Deaf, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the health project coordinator working on this research.
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.