Designing an Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview System in a Multisite Trial: A Brief Report

Wu, Elwin; Witte, Susan S.; El-Bassel, Nabila; Gilbert, Louisa; NIMH Multisite HIV/STD Prevention Trial for African American Couples Group

Objective: To describe the advantages and limitations of an ACASI system in a multisite trial with African American couples and to present the steps in designing, testing, and implementing a system. Methods: The ACASI system evolved from a paper and pencil interview (PAPI) that was pilot tested. Based on this initial work, the PAPI was translated into story boards that were the basis of the development of ACASI system. Story Boards consisted of one page per question and provided the programmers with the test of the question, valid responses, and any instructions that were to be read to the participants. Story boards were further translated into flow diagrams representing each module of the survey and illustrating the skip patterns used to navigate a participant through the survey. Provisions were also made to insert a face-to-face interview, into the ACASI assessment process, to elicit sexual abuse history data which typically requires specially trained data collectors with active listening skills in order to help participants reframe and coordinate times, places and emotionally difficult memories. Results: The ACASI was successfully developed and implemented in the main trial. During an exit interview, respondents indicated that they liked using the ACASI and indicating that they favored it as the method to answer questions. Conclusions: It is feasible to implement an ACASI system in a multisite study in a timely and efficient way.


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Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes

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Social Work
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July 30, 2012