The Research Methods and Biostatistics Core serves
as a centralized resource for qualitative data support,
statistical expertise and data management services
for Center investigators. Core members have broad expertise
and experience with data management, research design,
qualitative data analysis and statistical applications.
The Core also supervises quality assurance activities
and the Data Safety and Monitoring Board. The Core
leadership also actively pursues new research opportunities.
These tasks are accomplished via two highly integrated
modules: Formative Research and Biostatistics and Data
The Formative Research Module serves the needs of
Center investigators related to the design, implementation,
analysis, and interpretation of qualitative and formative
research activities. Core members provide expert consultation
to investigators utilizing qualitative methods including
study design, training, quality assurance monitoring,
and data analysis. The module also provides training
opportunities related to qualitative methodologies
with particular emphasis on their relevance to health
The goal of the Biostatistics and Data Management
Module is to provide a multi-disciplinary environment
that supports success in health marketing and communication
quantitative research. This module is responsible for
developing and implementing systems of data entry,
data management, computerization and data quality control.
The two modules work closely together to provide training
for investigators in the latest data analysis and management
techniques, to generate new collaborative health marketing
and communication studies, and to supervise quality
assurance and manage the Center’s Data Safety
and Management Board. The two modules also work together
to develop new methodologies for integrating qualitative
and quantitative research. Through these Modules, the
Core meets the needs of the Center and its investigators
as well as making important methodological contributions
to the study of Health Marketing and Communication.
A. Specific Aims
It is the mission of the Core to coordinate method
and statistics activities in the Center. The Core also
assumes leadership over the Data Safety and Monitoring
Board and supervises quality control management. Finally,
core leadership will actively pursue new research opportunities.
The core will accomplish these tasks through two highly
integrated modules: Formative Research and Biostatistics
and Data Management. The overall aims are to:
- Organize quarterly seminars presenting center findings
- Organize annual seminars on new qualitative and
quantitative data analysis techniques.
- Implement a system of data entry, management, and
quality control across the Center.
- Develop new methodologies for integrating qualitative
and quantitative research methods.
- Provide on-going support of qualitative data collection
- Provide expertise in statistical consulting on
project design including research proposal development,
study endpoints, sample size determination, data
collection form design, data management and plans
for statistical reports and analyses.
- Provide a liaison to the Lay Steering Committee
- Direct and Supervise the Center’s Data Safety
and Monitoring Board
- Supervise quality control management.
The integration of these skills and resources into
one Core has led to a synergistic interaction of disciplines
to identify and develop specific technical methods
and products that enhance the research productivity
of the Center and support new and innovative research.
Formative research is an essential aspect of the Center’s
production of tools to reduce health disparities among
socio-economic levels. The Formative Module (Module
A) will gather information concerning the quality,
effectiveness and acceptability of qualitative tools.
It is the primary goal of the Center to focus on understanding
how low income (mostly minority) consumers seek and
process risk information and make health decisions.
The faculty members to be affiliated with Module A
have diverse research experiences and interests yet
share a common interest in making health information
readily accessible to racial/ethnic groups historically
marginalized from public discourse about various health
issues and concerns. Thus, it is imperative that diverse
methodologies be employed in order to accurately represent
the views, beliefs, and understandings of the target
The Biostatistics and Data Management Module will
provide a multi-disciplinary environment to support
success in health marketing and communication research.
The module brings the methods and statistical expertise
and resources needed for success. Core members support
investigators in p lanning and study design, d ata
analysis, database management, statistical methods,
research, and development. In addition, the Core serves
as a liaison to improve communication and coordination
between investigators and statisticians who are potential
collaborators. The Biostatistics and Data Management
Module seeks to ensure that every project has the benefit
of an interactive relationship between a biostatistician
and principal investigator (P.I.) --beginning in the
earliest stages of planning and design and continuing
through to the publication of reports. Sound scientific
design is a critical element of an ethical protocol
that seeks to minimize the subjects’ risks while
maximizing the likelihood of research success. All
protocols submitted to the Center undergo review by
the biostatistics core and must receive approval from
this core. A second goal of the Biostatistics and Data
Management Module is to provide on-going training to
Center members on the latest data analysis and management