In addition to engaging in small- and large-group discussions, participants responded to audience response system (ARS) questions about themselves (e.g., demographic and other personal characteristics such as health insurance status), pre- and postsurvey statements related to accessing antiviral medications in a pandemic, and an evaluation of the community conversation. During these ARS surveys, electronic viewpoints were collected automatically and anonymously by means of participants’ handheld response devices.
To preserve participant confidentiality, note takers and the participants themselves were instructed not to record participant names or any other potentially identifiable viewpoints on the note-taker templates or elsewhere. Because the ARS response devices were distributed randomly to participants, the electronic viewpoints cannot be connected to particular individuals.
The information recorded on the note-taker templates from the 27 tables were robust in all but a few instances. Most of the notes were detailed, legible, unambiguous in meaning, and relevant to the topic. Note takers occasionally recorded direct quotes but, as instructed, they primarily summarized and synthesized participant ideas and themes. They appear to have captured predominant themes similarly recorded by other attendees taking general notes during each session (e.g., planning committee members and IOM staff in attendance, local partners’ staff). Notes from the report-out sessions were also of high quality.
This summary makes general reference to the ARS pre- and postsurvey viewpoints where appropriate. The primary purpose of these surveys was not to collect data, but rather to engage participants, helping them to focus on the issues at hand. The viewpoints are not detailed in this summary to avoid any possibility that the results could be misconstrued as generalizable to populations beyond the three participant groups. However, changes in the trends of participant responses between the pre- and post-ARS exercises may indicate the potentially positive effects of informing participants about as well as engaging them in the issues.
This section summarizes the characteristics of each community conversation, and describes common themes among the three sites and within each session. Neither the session characteristics nor the identified