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Data collection

under supervision of
Prof.Dr Elham Fayad
Prepared by
Mofida Albarrak

After completion of this session the
students should be able to:
Identify major types of data collection
Perform a data collection plan
Compare different type of Self-Reports
Discuss observational methods
Differentiate between validity and


Part 1 :Measurement & data


Major types of data collection

Developing a data collection plan
Implementing a data collection
Research examples

Part 11 Self-Reports
Unstructured & Semi-Structured
Questionnaires Versus interviews:
An assessment
Response Biases

Part 3 :Observational

Observational methods:
Unstructured observations
Structured observations

Cont, :Part 4. Assessing

data quality
Reliability of measuring
Other criteria for assessing
quantitative measure
Assessment of qualitative data

Data collection means gathering
information to address those critical
evaluation questions that you have
identified earlier in the evaluation
To plan data collection, you must
think about the questions to be
answered and the information
sources available.

you must begin to think ahead
about how the
information could be organized,
analyzed, interpreted and then
reported to various audiences
There are many methods available to
gather information, and a wide
variety of information sources.

Pre-Data Collection Steps

1. Clearly define the goals and objectives of the
data collection
2. Reach understanding and agreement on
operational definitions and methodology for
the data collection plan
3. Ensure data collection (and measurement)
repeatability, reproducibility, accuracy,
and stability

What kind of data should

?be collected
The information you collect is the evidence
you will have available to answer the
evaluation questions.
Poor evidence is information which cannot
be trusted, is limited, or simply is not
relevant to the questions asked.
Good evidence is information that comes
from reliable sources
and through trustworthy methods that
address important questions

There are two general types

:of information
descriptive and judgmental.
Descriptive information
can include the following examples:
Characteristics of the project
Reports of project accomplishments
Current skill or knowledge levels of project personnel
and the target audience
Amount of participation by the target audience
Policies concerning cost share
Rules regarding research
Types of participants
Demographic data

Judgmental information

Includes the following examples:

Opinions from experts or consultants
Consumer preferences
Target audiences beliefs and values
Technical agency personnels interpretation
of laws
Stakeholders perceived priorities
Stakeholders interpretation of guidelines

What methods should be

?used to collect data
The selection of a method for collecting
information must balance several
concerns including
Resources available
Analysis and reporting
And the skill of the evaluator

Major types of data

collection methods
Three types of approach have been
used most frequently by nurse

Self-reports. 1
Self-report data can be gathered
either by oral interview or by written
The self-report method is strong with
respect to its directness & flexibility
*If we want to know what people
think, feel, or believe (qualitative
data) the most direct means of
gathering the information is to ask
them about it.

Disadvantage of self-report
Verbal report instruments share a
number of weaknesses. The most serious
issue is the question of the validity &
accuracy of self-report:
How can we really be sure that
respondents feel or act the way they say
they do?
How can we trust the information that
respondents provide, particularly if the
questions could potentially require them
to reveal an unpopular position on a
controversial issues?

Developing a data
collection plan
Identify types of data needed for the study
Select the types of measures to measure
each variable
Select and/or develop instruments
Secure written permission to use each
Pilot test researcher-developed instrument
& revise plan
Develop data collection forms and
Implement data collection plan

Identify types of data-1

needed for the study
1-Testing hypothesis or answering research
2-Describe characteristics of sample
Demographics - age, gender, ethnic origin,
education background, marital status
Health-related variables - health habits, diet,
exercise, illness, length of illness,
3- Control for extraneous variables
Measure as many as possible
Intrinsic and extrinsic factors
May want to see if main effects also
apply to

4- Analyze data
5-Interpretation of results
Consider results that do not fit desired
Identify what data might explain
Obtain administrative data
Records of subject ID=s
Data on number of times subjects recruited
or approached, dates of data
collection, length of time for data
collection, location, time of day, and who
collected data
Who, what, when, where, and how of data

measures to measure each

Each variable must be measured - quantified
Highly structured measurement takes time
and testing to develop, yet gives data easier
to analyze both descriptively and
Objective measurement of phenomenon
Better to use multiple methods to measure
variables - self-reports, observations, and
physiologic measures
Need to consider ethics, cost, time, staff,
and stress on pt./family &/or agency

Select and/or develop-3

Identify existing instruments
Fit with conceptual definition of variable
Quality of instrument - validity & reliability
Will the information collection methods you have designed produce
information that measures what you say you are measuring? Be
sure that the information you collect is relevant to the
evaluation questions you are intending to answer.
Will the evaluation process you have designed consistently
measure what you want it to measure? If you use multiple
interviews, settings, or observers, will they consistently
the same thing each time? If you design an instrument, will people
interpret your questions the same way each time?


Resources - costs
Instrument use & scoring
Data collectors salary
Subject compensaton
Availability & familiarity
Researcher expertise
Norms - comparability
Established norms for instrument - provide
comparison group
Replication - use same instruments
Populations appropriateness
Reading level & writing ability
Cultural , ethnic origin
Gender biased
Translations for non-English speaking subjects

Secure written permission to

use each instrument
Look for employer and write to
author at place of employment
Find most recent publication to
identify current employer
Request a copy of the
instrument and information on
scoring, procedures, validity, and

Develop instrument, pilot test


Revise it plan Instrument

based on theoretical framework
of study
Pilot test on small scale &
evaluate before administration
large group
Determine amount of time to
complete instrument

Areas problematic for

Difficult to understand & reading level
too high

Offensive terminology

Sequencing of questions
Training of data collectors
How well instrument discriminates
among subjects - detects differences
in subjects
Revise instrument based on pilot

Develop data collection 6

forms and procedures

Screening potential subjects
Consent & assent forms
Explanations to potential subjects for
people referring subjects

Advertisements to recruit subjects

Records for tracking contacts with


Mailing lists and logs for receipts



Specific conditions for data


Specific procedures and

sequencing for experiments

Standard information for

subject's questions

Procedures for risks if they


List of all materials needed

Interview guidelines,
instruments, observation directions

Implement data
collection plan

Select who will collect data

Researcher or neutral agent
Background similar to subject
Unremarkable appearance - dress,
make-up, jewelry

Personality - pleasant, sociable,

non-judgmental, non-threatening

Available to collect data for the

entire study period

Training data collectors

Includes general principles of data
collection & specifics for study

Data collection training manual

Review manual, forms, and


Demonstrate data collection and

return demonstration with videotape

Periodic observation of data

collection to verify procedures are


Approaches to collect self report data

Semi- Unstructured
Self report techniques
verbal communication between research
and subject; commonly used in
exploratory and descriptive studies
Unstructured interview
1- subject's world view; open-ended
questions with probes and prompting;
qualitative; audiotape

Semi-structured interview 1 subject; list of topics or questions for

discussion with additional probes, aka
topic guide; uses both open

and close-ended questions; taped

Structured interview
1 subject; specific questions asked in

Consistent order using the same

words each time; no variation from
questions and no explanation of unclear

Focus group interview

5 to 15 subjects in a group;

Interviewer/moderator asks
open-ended questions; efficient yet
some individuals inhibited by
others in the group

Life history - anthropologic;

chronologic changes; sequence of

Critical incident - subject

describes an event (incident) from
his viewpoint r/t research topic

Diary - subject's daily log

describing own experiences r/t the
research topic
Instruments - interview schedule
with questions and space to record
answers; tape recordings of faceto-face or telephone interviews
Interviewer training - pilot
testing; familiar with content and
situations encountered with
interviewing; practice maintaining
unbiased verbal and nonverbal

Gathering unstructured self report

good listener good questioner; make
subject relaxed and open; maintain
focus on the topic; summarize and
close on a positive note
Evaluate unstructured approach
Explore new topics and experiences;
time consuming and demanding

Structured self report instrument

Types of closed-ended questions
1- Dichotomous items
2 opposing choices; yes/no or true/false
2- Multiple choice -- >2 choices
from which subject selects 1 option
3- Rank-order - subject places
options in rank or order of importance
based on tool directions
4-Forced-choice - 2 polar
alternative statements; similar to
dichotomous, but in the form of sentences
rather than singl words

5- Rating - Likert scale; semantic

differential scale
Psychological tests

Personality inventories
mmpi, Edwards personal

Projective techniques
Rorschach inkblot test; Thematic
Apperception Test (tell a story
based on a picture)

Administering self-report instruments


Put subject at ease

Punctual, friendly, courteous,


Privacy obtain written consent

Check tape recorder function before each
interview; bring extra batteries and tapes

Remain neutral

Use interview guide for consistency

Advantages of interview
Better response rates
Wider range of subjects
Can clarify questions
Greater depth of questions
Decreases missing information
Order of questions controlled
Adds supplementary observational


Group or individuals easy with group

Personal contact with subjects or mailed
Want response rate of at least 60% to
avoid response bias
Cover letter stating completion and return
of questionnaire indicates
consent of subject
Can drop off and pick up in person or mail
Mailing with follow-up plan
questionnaire, postcard, questionnaire,
Advantages - Cheaper, anonymity, no
interviewer bias

Response biases of subjects

Social desirability chooses
answer most socially acceptable
Response set items influence
the subjects response to other
Extreme responses selects
response on either extreme end of

Acquiescence response
yeah-sayers always agrees with
statement; use both positive and
negative statements to
counterbalance this response
Nay-Sayers always disagrees
with statement; use both positive
and negative statements to
counterbalance this response

Tips for wording the

Clearly stated
Bias decreased
Sensitive information respect
Worded so that subjects can
respond to questions
Short sentences ask only 1
question at a time; positive

Avoid leading questions; focus on
research objectives and questions
Use closed-ended questions with
socially unacceptable topics
Do not assume subjects are well
informed about topic
Impersonal wording of items
without "I"
Mutually exclusive item choices

Observational methods
Gathering data through visual, auditory, tactile and other

Characteristics of individuals

Verbal & nonverbal communication behavior


Skill attainment and performance

Environmental characteristics
Steps in observation

Decide what to observe

Determine how to conduct observation to ensure

every variable observed in same manner Orient and
provide written instructions to observers

Validate accuracy and consistency of observation


Observational Methods

Unstructured observations
No planning spontaneous
Observer freedom
Risk loss of objectivity
Requires excellent memory &
interpersonal skills
Structured observations
Define what is to be observed
Define how observations will be made,
recorded, and coded
Recording structured observations

Participant observations observer & subject

interact to some degree duration observation

Overt subject aware of observation

Covert subject not aware of


Non-participant observations
observer and subject do not interact; can be
overt or covert
Timing of observations

Time sampling making an observation

for a specified length of time at pre-determined
intervals (eg observe for 5 minutes every 15
minutes or observe for 5 minutes 3 randomly
selected times each hour)

Event sampling making an observation

whenever an event occurs

Basic physiology with relevance for nursing
Ways that nursing actions or medical
interventions affect patient health outcomes
Evaluation of specific nursing procedures or
interventions testing a hypothesis
Improving measurement and recording of
biophysiologic data collected by RN
Correlation of physiologic function in patient
with health problems

Major types

In vivo

Measurements performed directly with in or on

living organisms themselves

May use complex instrumentation system with

May be simple thermometer, pulse oximeter,

In vitro

Measurements performed outside the organisms

body Specimens collected and tested outside body

Blood chemistries, microbiologic, cytologic

specimens .SCAN

Considerations for
physiologic measurements
Will measure yield good information? Does
it fit research
questions/hypothesis and variables of
What other methods of measurement could
be used? Invasive &
Equipment and supply costs; reliability of
equipment and complexity of operation
Training of personnel

The most important issue related to data
collection is selecting the most
appropriate information or
. evidence to answer your questions
To plan data collection, you must think
about the questions to be answered and
the information sources available. Also,
you must begin to think ahead about
how the information could be organized,
analyzed, interpreted and then reported
to various audiences

Glesne, C. and Peshkin, A. (1992). Becoming
qualitative researchers: An
introduction. White Plains, NY: Longman
Patton, M.Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and
research methods (2nd
ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Morse, J.M. (ed.) (1993). Critical issues in
qualitative research methods.Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage Publications.
Rubin, H.J. and Rubin, I.S. (1995). Qualitative
interviewing. Thousand,Oaks, CA: Sage