Research & Evaluation | Planning & Development | Management Info. System |

Research & Evaluation and Program Assessment
PCH has extensive experience in designing and implementing:

PCH's most innovative projects have integrated multiple methods such as review of existing data, focus groups and surveys.

Theory-based research Top

PCH incorporates different psychological, behavioral, systems, and communication theories into the development of their projects. PCH goes beyond providing descriptive data by working with clients to develop theories that might explain outcome behaviors or attitudes. Theories are tested by collecting appropriate demographic and other "causal" variables and analyzing them using statistical models.

Surveys Top

PCH develops questionnaires using formats that facilitate ease of understanding and improves the accuracy of data-entry. Questionnaires are developed for paper and pencil, on-line and web based implementation. PCH has bilingual (Spanish/English) capacity and surveys are usually designed in both languages.

Focus Groups and Key Informant Interviews Top
PCH has conducted over 75 focus groups and key informant interviews in 1999, and has considerable expertise in recruiting participants and moderating sessions. Using PCH video and audio equipment, staff often set up facilities at community-based organizations, or, when possible, uses professional focus group facilities. Focus group outlines are developed with clients, and moderators use them to guide interaction among participants. Audio and/or video tapes of sessions may be transcribed or viewed by trained coders. Key comments are selected and coded to enable systematic analysis of the focus groups and key informant interviews. Confidentiality is assured to all clients. PCH has bilingual capacity and focus groups can be conducted in English and Spanish.

Sampling Top
PCH designs sampling frames for general populations and special subpopulations, such as communities of color. PCH has expertise in reaching difficult-to-reach populations including rural populations, homeless, adolescents, substance users and undocumented individuals. Random, quota, and convenience sampling methods are used for focus groups and in-person, mail, and telephone surveys.

Fielding Surveys Top
PCH supervises and often conducts the field work for surveys. PCH hires, trains and supervises local staff in correct respondent selection and data collection procedures. For larger projects, PCH may subcontract field work, but it always maintains high levels of supervision to assure that the data is complete and accurate. When possible PCH hires persons from the community being surveyed to conduct the field work.

Data Entry Top
PCH staff enters data from questionnaires and verifies all work. On-line data collection is formatted at the front end of the process, and can save considerable time and cost in data entry as well as improve the quality of the data. Data dictionaries and codebooks are developed as part of the process of preparing data for analysis.

Systematic observations and chart reviews Top
PCH has developed methods of non-obtrusive data collection, including systematic observations and chart reviews. Coding schema are developed and observers or coders are trained to provide reliable observations and chart reviews.

Quantitative analysis, including regression and data reduction methods Top
Quantitative analysis provides information that can be generalized from the sample to the target population. PCH uses SPSS and other statistical analysis programs to provide descriptive and multivariate analysis of data. Theories are tested using the appropriate statistical methods including regression and multiple classification analysis. Factor analysis and other multidimensional methods are used to reduce and categorize data elements.

Qualitative analysis, including systematic analysis of focus group and key informant interview Top
Qualitative analysis provides in-depth information about topics of interest. It is not generalizable to the target population but is useful for understanding the process of decision making. Focus groups determine factors and language that are important to clients and consumers. PCH develops coding schemas with the clients and inductively from the data and systematically codes verbatim comments from focus groups and key informant interviews. Counts of responses as well as verbatim quotes are used to illustrate findings.

Secondary data analysis and literature reviews Top
PCH has completed several projects that incorporate a systematic analysis of existing information and data. PCH has the bibliographic and data base capabilities to conduct both meta analysis and traditional literature reviews. PCH has access to numerous on-line services to conduct bibliographic and key word searches, such as the Library of Medicine's Grateful Med, AIDSLine, MedScape, and DrugLine.

Epidemiological reviews Top
PCH has conducted epidemiological reviews for HIV and AIDS for specified geographic areas based on aggregate reported data and clinical data. PCH uses different models to project trends to the future. Data is presented in easy to read graphics

Reports and graphic presentation Top
PCH prepares professional reports. The table of contents, headings and subheadings facilitate navigating through the reports. Graphics are used to illustrate the data. Reports are written at the reading level of the expected audience. Executive summaries provide overall summaries.

PCH has the capacity to provide animated PowerPoint and web based presentations of reports.



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