Development and Implementation of Health Surveys in Asian American Communities
An Example of Research on Smoking Behaviors and Perceived Cancer Risks
The methodological, cultural, and research challenges associated with conducting surveys among community based Asian American (AA) organizations was explored. The cultural content and cultural conflict models were employed. Also discussed are the strategies that were adopted to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment survey of tobacco use and associated cancer risk among an AA population in the Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Research among AA populations pose data collection difficulties. These difficulties include gaining access to membership lists, language barriers, need for one-on-one explanation of survey items, reduced uniformity of conditions, the need to maintain confidentiality, and the need to establish trust with the members of the organization prior to gaining an invitation to conduct the survey and reluctance of AA to give personal information to researchers. Community methods included gaining trust of community leaders, and establishment of an Asian Community Cancer Coalition. A comprehensive questionnaire was translated into four Asian languages. Methods used to develop a reliable and valid survey are presented.