Lessons learned while planning and implementing a group research project designed to assess changes in physical activity behavior as a result of a newly constructed multi use trail
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Issue: Built environment research focusing on walking trails in the US and elsewhere has primarily examined economic impact or current use patterns, but no research published to date has assessed potential changes in physical activity patterns before and after availability of a trail. Description: Students in a doctoral seminar at a public university in the southeastern US decided to take advantage of the opportunity to survey residents in three rural communities during the months before a 43 mile converted rails-to-trail project was scheduled to open. Analysis of baseline data collected will be presented although the focus of this presentation is on lessons learned in planning and implementing a student research project. Challenges confronted include allocation of tasks, keeping track of decisions, rationale for decisions, study design, data collection, data recording, data entry, participant recruitment, writing up results, and group member access to information. Lessons learned: Use of multiple pretests and a nonequivalent dependent variable were identified as methods to improve a no control group pretest and posttest design. In addition, we refined surveyor training and standardized our practices for data collection, data entry, and general information sharing. Task allocation issues were managed through minimizing assignment of tasks to some individuals within the group. Recommendations: Surveyor guidelines were established for posttest data collection which will occur throughout 2013 and hopefully will be continued by future graduate students. A shared Dropbox folder was created to house information related to the project.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify two challenges to quality control to consider when planning a group research project
Identify two benefits associated with student group research projects
Keyword(s): Research, Physical Activity
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because:
I have completed all coursework and successfully passed comprehensive exams toward a Ph.D. in health and kinesiology with emphasis area health behavior. My supporting coursework was completed in research methods courses. My primary research interest is facilitation of lifelong physical activity through community-based interventions.
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.