In the spring of 2010, THG was contracted to conduct telephone surveys with parents of children aged 17 years old or younger in the state of California for Berkeley Policy Associates (BPA) on behalf of the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. THG programmed the questionnaire, developed by BPA in collaboration with the Packard Foundation, for use with its CATI software and administered the survey in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese dialects. THG used a blend of Random Digit Dial (RDD), Ethnic Density, Household Member Age and Wireless Only sample to reach out to targeted ethnic groups and qualifying households, and completed over 1,600 30-minute surveys.
THG recently completed the first phase of data collection for a study for researchers at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF). THG interviewers contacted California state residents via telephone and administered a 60-minute questionnaire on adolescent health issues to parents of children aged 13 to 17.
For this study, THG was involved in editing the questionnaire and responsible for questionnaire programming and testing, as well as conducting a live pre-test of the questionnaire with 10 randomly sampled California residents. A listed sample of eligible families receiving healthcare services from Kaiser-Permanente or San Francisco General Hospital was provided by UCSF.
THG completed close to 500 interviews as well as an additional 100 test-retest reliability completes. UCSF researchers are currently in the process of analyzing the data and preparing a modified version of the questionnaire for the second phase of data collection beginning in early 2011.
In 2007-2008 and 2009-2010, THG was engaged by Westat, a major Contract Research Organization located in Washington D.C., for data collection activities for the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Spearheaded by UCLA in collaboration with the California Department of Health Services and the Public Health Institute, the CHIS 2009 effort gathered responses on public health and healthcare issues from over 50,000 California residents.
THG hired, trained and managed over 50 interviewers who ultimately provided over 20,000 interviewing hours to this important study. To accommodate California’s large and diverse population, the interviewing staff was comprised of English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese dialects), Korean and Vietnamese-speaking interviewers.
THG contracted with the American College of Cardiology to conduct 55 one-hour interviews with cardiologists, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and cardiac patients with cardiovascular disease in Chicago, Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco and Jackson, MS. The research was conducted in support of Take Action, a 2008 initiative whose goal was to decrease the chances of a secondary coronary event for those who have just recently been discharged from a hospital after being hospitalized with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
For this study, THG recruited 39 healthcare professionals, 14 of whom had a patient population that was at least 50 percent African-American. We also recruited 16 cardiac patients, 11 of whom were African-American.
Since 2008, THG has conducted over a dozen qualitative and quantitative projects for Gilead Sciences – all of which involve the recruiting of hard-to-reach populations. In a 2008 study, THG recruited 80 participants across eight cities to conduct a total of 65 one-hour interviews. This was an extremely difficult recruit – participants had to meet a patient profile, and were estimated to be approximately 5% of the total patient population. Even with the difficult recruiting specifications, the entire timeline of this project was only 10 weeks.
In 2010, THG was contracted to provide qualitative research which involved recruiting 540 HIV-diagnosed patients who had not yet taken medication for their HIV for participation in a 40-minute survey in English or Spanish. Outreach was conducted via health clinics and non-profit organizations supplemented by internet and telephone outreach data gathering.
In late 2010, THG conducted two studies for Gilead involving the recruitment of focus groups and one-on-one interviews in the Phoenix area. For one study, nine HIV-positive females between the ages of 32 and 64 were screened using very specific eligibility criteria regarding their date of HIV diagnosis and their medication regimen. For the other, 13 men and women of varying ethnicity and sexual orientation between the ages of 23 and 64 were screened using similarly specific criteria.
In 2010, THG collaborated with Lilly to develop an instrument to measure treatment satisfaction and the effect of treatment on psychosocial concerns for men with ED. The research involved a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews conducted across the nation with men with ED. Respondents were required to fit a very specific patient profile, satisfying eligibility criteria regarding their age, sexual activity, sexual dysfunction and use of medication to treat their sexual dysfunction.
A total of 227 men were recruited for participation in this study. For the second phase of the project, THG recruited 24 participants for in-depth interviews and 29 participants for focus groups. 13 of the participants were Phoenix residents between the ages of 27 and 67.
THG is currently working on the second phase of a project intended to establish a patient-reported outcome measure of testosterone deficiency in men for clinical trials and labeling purposes. This study requires a similar outreach effort, recruiting respondents fitting a very specific patient profile. For the first phase, 72 men between the ages of 30 and 81 were recruited for focus groups and in-depth interviews. Part of the second phase’s participant population will be comprised of 12 patients and six doctors treating testosterone deficiency in the Phoenix area.
For both of these studies, THG used and is using a variety of outreach methods, including internet outreach through Craigslist and Facebook, print advertising, and outreach through medical offices, libraries and retirement homes