Fields (2011b) discussed a newly redesigned SIPP that uses event history methodology, pulling from the experiences of the PSID. The SIPP staff believe they may be able to use a one-year recall period as effectively and accurately with this new methodology as the current design, which uses a four-month recall. The new design is scheduled to be operational in 2014. This presentation discussed the implementation of “event history” methodology and presented what has been learned so far with the pilot program.

Session 6: Diary Surveys That Effectively Utilize Technology to Facilitate Recordkeeping or Recall

Newer technology, such as the Web, smart phones, and portable scanners, has opened possibilities for diary surveys. This session highlighted surveys that utilize this newer technology to field innovative diary-type surveys.

The National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) is a new pilot survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture designed with an innovative approach to a food diary. Cole (2011) discussed the survey, which collects information on food sources, choices, quantities, prices, timing of acquisition, and nutrient characteristics for all at-home and away-from-home foods and beverages. It also collects household information that may influence food acquisition behaviors. The pilot uses color-coded booklets, portable scanners for receipts, regular telephone contact to encourage diary-keeping, and incentives as part of the data collection process (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2011).

Kizakevich (2011) discussed personal diary and survey methodologies for health and environmental data collection used by RTI International. Among these examples were

  • PFILES, a real-time exposure-related diary of product use and dietary consumption in the context of activity, location, and the environment. It uses Pocket PCs with headsets for use by respondents, who record survey responses and even take pictures of their environment;
  • Personal Health Monitor for use by patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injuries to help clinicians monitor patients’ status while observing symptoms and medication usage within the context of daily activities and environmental factors; and
  • BreathEasy, an Android App, which allows a daily assessment of asthma triggers, health, and ventilation.


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