142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Walking Interviews: Speaking with consumers while they shop where they live

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Rosemary Frasso, PhD, MSc, CPH , Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Jennifer Herczeg, MBA , Philadelphia Health Department, Philadelphia, PA
Amna Rizvi, MPH , Philadelphia Health Department, Philadelphia, PA
Jane Seymour, MPH , CPHI and MMRL, University of Pennsylvania, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Elisabeth Stelson, MPH(c), MSW(c) , Perelman School of Medicine, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Lydie McKenzie , Dartmouth College
Livia Frasso Jaramillo , Brown University, Providence, RI
Background: This assessment aimed to inform the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Healthy Supermarket Pledge Program by ascertaining the perspectives of consumers who shop for healthy food to feed children (<18 yrs). Methods: A series of walking interviews (WIs) were conducted with shoppers in two Philadelphia supermarkets (N=18). WIs were employed to augment and confirm a focus group arm of this study. Focus groups often rely on participant reflection, while WIs allow the research team to interact with participants while they are actively engaging in the activity of interest in their neighborhood. Shopping participants were asked to share their thoughts while they were in their local supermarket making decisions and choices. Because the team anticipated background noise, both the participant and the interviewer wore audio recorders and microphones. We often relied on both recordings to ascertain accurate transcripts (20-45 minutes). Results: WIs provided an effective mode of triangulation with the focus group arm of this study. The following themes identified in focus groups also emerged from the WI data: 1) food choices, 2) price 3) setting, and 4) defining healthy foods.  Several unique themes emerged: 1) preparing to shop, 2) how participants shop, 3) shopping with or for children, 4) supermarket materials, 5) food assessment, and 6) smoking. Conclusions: WIs proved to be an effective way to engage study participants in this context. Participants reported a level of comfort with the approach. While permission was granted by market management it is important to note the study team went largely unnoticed. 

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the value of engaging participants where they live and shop. Demonstrate the value of researchers and participants exploring a phenomena in context .

Keyword(s): Food Security, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a qualitative methodologist. I have presented at local and national meeting on creative approaches to data collection.
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.