• What are the goals and purposes of the research?

  • What are the nature, extent, and potential etiologies of the problems with the current disability decision process?

  • Based on the problem analysis, what options might be developed to alleviate the problems?

  • Will a proposed redesigned disability decision process be workable?

  • Will a proposed redesigned decision process alleviate the current problems; might it create other problems?

These and other questions provide an initial conceptual framework of issues and methods for a research plan to assess a proposed redesigned disability decision process as a workable solution to current problems (see Table 3-1).

Table 3-1 Issues and Methods To Be Addressed in a Framework for a Research Plan for a New Disability Decision Process


Research Steps

Research Methods

1. What is the nature and extent of the problem with the disability decision process?

Needs assessment research

• Special surveys and analytic studies

• Assembly of existing internal and external data

• Satisfaction surveys

• Analysis of data from studies using established evaluative criteria

• Focus groups

2. What alternative solutions might address these problems?

Identify alternative options

Small-scale testing

Field evaluation

• Review and analysis of research literature

• Specially targeted research

• Laboratory research and pilot studies and demonstrations

• Field tests

• Focus groups

• Process engineering assessments

• National surveys

3. Will the proposed disability decision process be workable, and will it alleviate the problems?

Program evaluation and transition to implementation

• Clinical trials

• Simulation

• Evaluation studies of the proposed decision process using the established criteria

• Cost-effectiveness studies

• Tests of the new decision process

• in selected sites

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