Spencer DL, Reed (Earnshaw) SJ, Atkinson D, Kalsbeek WD. Design of a survey to inform state health decision making: a collaborative effort. Am J Prev Med. 1997 Nov 1;13(6 Suppl):69-74.

BACKGROUND: The North Carolina Health Profile (NCHP), a statewide telephone survey, was introduced as part of the state's Health Policy Information Project aimed at enhancing the use of health data for state policy decision making and program management. A key factor in the creation of the NCHP was a collaboration between the State Center for Health Statistics and the Survey Research Unit at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The purpose of this article is to describe our partnership, the development of the survey design, and the dissemination of survey results. METHODS: Three designs were considered during the planning and development of the survey. The final design consisted of a random digit dialing sample of 2,400 households in the state's noninstitutionalized population. The questionnaire was comprised of an adult module (addressing adult health care use and insurance coverage), a child module (addressing health care use and insurance coverage of children ages 0-17 years), and a young child module (addressing child development and safety for children ages 0-5 years). RESULTS: Several statistical briefs, a report, a public dataset, and accompanying public use documentation were prepared for a variety of audiences, including state legislative committees and commissions, state agencies, and advocacy groups. DISCUSSION: We learned several lessons in our research and practice partnership including the need for collaboration between data creators and users, for addressing obstacles in soliciting policy information needs, and for prioritization in meeting information needs.

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