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ERIC Number: EJ988962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Conducting Field Research in a Primary School Setting: Methodological Considerations for Maximizing Response Rates, Data Quality and Quantity
Trapp, Georgina; Giles-Corti, Billie; Martin, Karen; Timperio, Anna; Villanueva, Karen
Health Education Journal, v71 n5 p590-596 Sep 2012
Background: Schools are an ideal setting in which to involve children in research. Yet for investigators wishing to work in these settings, there are few method papers providing insights into working efficiently in this setting. Objective: The aim of this paper is to describe the five strategies used to increase response rates, data quality and quantity in the TRansport Environment and Kids (TREK) project. Setting: The TREK project examined the association between neighbourhood urban design and active transport in Grade 5-7 school children (n = 1480) attending 25 primary schools in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia during 2007. Method: Children completed several survey components during school time (i.e. questionnaire, mapping activity, travel diary and anthropometric measurements) and at home (i.e. pedometer study, parent questionnaire). Results: Overall, 69.4% of schools and 56.6% of children agreed to participate in the study and, of these, 89.9% returned a completed travel diary, 97.8% returned their pedometer and 88.8% of parents returned their questionnaire. These return rates are superior to similar studies. Five strategies appeared important: (1) building positive relationships with key school personnel; (2) child-centred approaches to survey development; (3) comprehensive classroom management techniques to standardize and optimize group sessions; (4) extensive follow-up procedures for collecting survey items; and (5) a specially designed data management/monitoring system. Conclusion: Sharing methodological approaches for obtaining high-quality data will ensure research opportunities within schools are maximized. These methodological issues have implications for planning, budgeting and implementing future research. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia