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Vital Signs: Data Collection and Handling Ben Silliman, Youth Development Specialist North Carolina 4-H.

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Presentation on theme: "Vital Signs: Data Collection and Handling Ben Silliman, Youth Development Specialist North Carolina 4-H."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vital Signs: Data Collection and Handling Ben Silliman, Youth Development Specialist North Carolina 4-H

2 (4) H Files #1 The Go-Go-Gadgets 4-H Engineering Club held an extended meeting to build and test a robotics project one Saturday. Maria’s mom agreed to bring snacks in the afternoon around 3PM. Soon after snacks arrived, 11 year-old Jamie walked outside. A few moments later his mother picked him up. Club leader Mr. Xi wondered why Jamie left so early, especially since he had been enjoying the activities. Later that afternoon, Jamie’s mother called to explain that her son had left when he saw that the snacks contained peanuts, to which he was allergic. He did not want to embarrass Maria, so he called to go home. Mr. Xi said that he would ask parents to avoid peanuts for snack in the future.

3 What you wish you could have known What you wish you could have known How could Mr. Xi (or Maria’s mom) have known about Jamie’s allergy? What might a club leader do with data about a youth to develop his/her Head, Heart, Hands, and Health? How/when should a club leader share data about a youth? What about data not on forms?

4 (4) H Files #2 Wolfpack County 4-H teens were on a field trip to Washington, DC when 15 year-old Rhonda began falling behind and complaining that she was tired. Once she tried to leave the group to visit a convenience store. Another time Rhonda tried to buy a soda from a vending machine. Her nutrition- conscious volunteer leader called her back to the group and urged her to think about healthy lifestyles. Five minutes later, Rhonda collapsed on the sidewalk, breathing heavily, sweating, and complaining of a severe headache. When the agent-leader arrived, she asked if Rhonda had taken a snack or water since breakfast, explaining that, as a diabetic, she needed these to keep up with trip demands. “There’s no record of that on my roster,” her volunteer said. Sure enough, data was entered incorrectly on the roster.

5 Wolfpack County’s Trip Roster YouthAgeSexMedical ConditionPhone Contact Rhonda Jones17MNone(910) Lamont Owens15FDiabetes-snack, water, breaks(910) Betzi Williams16FAsthma-daily pill; inhaler(910)

6 What you wish you could have known How could the volunteer leader get such inaccurate information on Rhonda’s condition? How did Rhonda’s 4-H agent know what to ask about Rhonda? How might the agent, volunteer, or the 4-Her have contributed to more accurate data in this situation? What information about a club or activity could help 4-H volunteers and professionals better understand how and why their program makes a difference?

7 (4) H Files #3 Two curious pre-teens wandered into the camp recreation hall just after registration. Counselors had responded to an emergency request and left registration materials on the table. Among the tidbits of data the interlopers discovered was a comment that Tim, a 9-year old, sometimes had problems with bedwetting. Tim was teased by kids throughout the camp all week, but swore to counselors that he had not shared his “secret.”

8 What you wish you could have known How could the handling of data have saved everyone the trouble that Tim experienced? Even if data is handled confidentially at registration, are there other points when sensitive information might be compromised? How can such breaches be avoided?

9 What you need to know to help youth? Enrollment data Medical data Personal interests and gifts Important relationships Prior experience

10 What does your program need to show impact and improve? Enrollment data Medical data Personal interests and gifts Important relationships Prior experience Program evaluation Process data Outcome data

11 How can you collect and handle data wisely? Collecting Data - General Determine what’s needed and how it will be used Develop instruments that are relevant, brief, understandable, unambiguous Develop and follow a clear, consistent process for asking questions and recording feedback (similar across activities, adapted for specific activities) Adapt procedures to specific circumstances: cultural, literacy, different styles or (dis)abilities Use new opportunities to check existing data Anticipate a broad range of questions that may help in understanding/responding to youth informally

12 How can you collect and handle data wisely? Collecting Data – Specific Select time and place to maximize accuracy, completeness Confirm that participants are part of a targeted audience Explain the purpose and procedure before implementing an evaluation, whether survey, interview, or observation Describe how to use any special equipment and confirm its operating order and participants’ skills before starting Thank participants and emphasize the value of their input Allow for questions, whether on-site or remote For mail or web surveys, provide reminders or incentives for completion and submission on time

13 How can you collect and handle data wisely? Preparation and Processing Data – General Develop and implement a checklist to mark & track datasets Develop, test, implement, & monitor an electronic database, including a plan to collate/integrate all types of data Develop and check a codebook matching the database Check data for accuracy, checking with respondents when necessary, and noting changes in a codebook journal Develop and consistently implement procedures for processing ambiguous and missing data Develop and consistently implement procedures for inverted items, scale scores, coding open-ended responses, etc.

14 Codebook Question ItemVariable Code Range of Responses Missing data 1. AgeAGE1-99; Missing = blank 5. Involvement in youth organizations4-H1 = Yes; Blank = No SCOUTS1 = Yes; Blank = No SPORTS1 = Yes; Blank = No mg is equal to:KMEASA (1) to E (5) multiple choice 21. Low fat foods do not taste as good as higher-fat foods. ATASTEA (1) to E (5) SA-SD 31. Using the table and menu below, calculate the saturated fat. SESTFATA (1) to E (5) multiple choice 41. Estimate the number of minutes of strenuous exercise you will do each day in the next month. AMINEXXX (number of minutes) 51. Describe how “Eat Smart, Move More” has changed your health habits. BESMMCode by keyword: 1 = low fat; 2 = exercise; 3 = well- being

15 How can you collect and handle data wisely? Handling Data – General Keep completed evaluation tools and data in a secure location at all times (e.g., supervised, locked cabinet) Code forms and use one roster to track individuals Limit access to data and train staff to act ethically Restrict description of youth responses to protect individuals Keep track of the tools, procedures, codebook, and other procedures used to collect, organize, and handle data

16 Data Collection and Medical Decisions Before you treat, check Accuracy: the right tool, protocol, conditions –A blood pressure cuff doesn’t tell the condition of liver Redundancy: multiple times and tools to confirm –Asking the patient what surgery he/she expects may be revealing Complexity: appreciating multiple influences –Knowing diabetic status, medications informs diagnosis Urgency: need to collect and assess data quickly –If you’re not breathing, you need Oxygen, not a complex diagnosis of possible causes


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