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Computer assisted survey information collection: Australian health surveys: question and module development principles and practice


Occasional Paper No. 5

The work of the National Computer Assisted Telephone Interview Technical Reference Group (CATI TRG) under the National Public Health Partnership has emphasized the need to establish question and module development standards in the Computer Assisted Survey Information Collection (CASIC) environment that can be utilised in CATI health surveys across Australia. This has been seen as important so that measurement error in the CASIC environment can be reduced as well as providing greater harmonisation of the results of different CASIC data collection activities. This overview of question/module development principles and practices provides a guide to the various stages that are required to ensure that 'best practice' question development is followed.

This document outlines principles and practices for the development of consistent and uniform questions (or sets of questions) in CASIC. It covers the identification and assessment of questions, key processes in the development of questions and the processes to test validity and reliability. In addition, subsequent fieldwork issues, interviewer feedback and reporting on questions are outlined.

Authored by PHIDU

Published: 2003; Available free online; Printed copies: not available

Early intervention - from evidence to implementation: the policy-maker's tale. A case study


Occasional Paper No. 4

Implementing evidence from research, into policy, and then practice, is a challenging task, glistening with opportunities and fraught with practical difficulties and political realities. This case study describes a process of taking research evidence, embedding it into policy and then implementing and making it happen 'on the ground', as a 'live' early intervention program in South Australia.

Evidence on the level of disadvantage of people living in particular geographic locations in metropolitan Adelaide, and research on effective early intervention programs for disadvantaged families with infants were used to support policy directions and to gain funding to establish a pilot program. A community development approach was adopted, and strategies used to ensure the participation of those communities in the design and establishment of the program are also discussed. A number of key criteria were identified to support the successful transition from research, to policy, to planning and practice, and these are reviewed in the light of experience.

This is a sobering tale, with exciting outcomes but a number of important lessons, which may be helpful to others seeking to ensure the successful implementation of early intervention programs for children and their families in Australia.

Authored by PHIDU

Published: 2003; Available free online; Printed copies: not available

Editorial: Ischaemic heart disease: across the social and geographic divides


Authors: Andrew M Tonkin, Jeanette Pope and John D Glover

Published: Medical Journal of Australia 2000; 173: 173-174

Editorial: Open invitation from the International Poverty and Health Network to all healthcare professionals


The International Poverty and Health Network (IPHN) was created in December 1997, following a series of conferences organised by the World Health Organization with the aim of integrating health into plans to eradicate poverty. The network's formation was a response to the evidence of the persistent and growing burden of human suffering due to poverty. We invite others to join the endeavour.

Authors: Iona Heath, Andy Haines, John Glover and Diana Hetzel

Published: Medical Journal of Australia 2000; 172: 356-357

Ethical considerations arising from national health measurement surveys: with particular reference to the Australian Health Measurement Surveys [AHMS]


Working Paper No. 7

The purpose of this paper is to identify a range of ethical considerations that may arise during the design and implementation of national health surveys that incorporate physical and biochemical measures.

These surveys are able to provide important information on the prevalence of various health conditions and distributions of physical, mental and biochemical characteristics of the population, as well as providing data on the relationship between risk factors and selected conditions, and social and environmental determinants of health. In Australia, a program of national health measurement surveys that will collect a range of measures (physical and biochemical characteristics) has been proposed, the Australian Health Measurement Survey (AHMS) program.

The ethical, legal and social issues that arise are numerous. A number of broad policy issues emerge that require further discussion. In order to ensure that survey programs are conducted within an ethical framework, these issues must be identified and discussed with communities and others, and broad agreement reached about the most appropriate ways to proceed.

Authored by PHIDU

Published: 2003; Available free online; Printed copies: not available