Videotape to Train Interviewers in Surveys of Old People

Period of Performance: 03/01/1995 - 08/31/1996


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEW England Research Institutes, Inc.
Watertown, MA 02472
Principal Investigator


Surveys of older adults present unique challenges to researchers because of the heterogeneity of this population, the effect of their social and physical characteristics on both their willingness and ability to participate in surveys, and the likelihood of "gatekeepers" who might block their participation or influence their responses. These situations require specialized interviewer skills. The videotape is a training tool that can present realistic examples of field situations requiring specialized skills and demonstrate appropriate interviewer behaviors/techniques. Currently only one training videotape regarding survey interviews of older people exists, but it is survey-specific and limited to in-person interviews. The purpose of this SBIR is to develop and test a training kit, including a videotape and training manual, for training interviewers for surveys of older people. We propose to produce a training videotape that is generic, covers a wide range of potential field situations, and includes both in- person and telephone interviews. Phase I activities included (1) development of the content areas of the videotape, (2) production of the script, and (3) development of a production schedule. The aims of Phase II are (1) to produce the videotape; (2) develop an accompanying training manual; and (3) test the effectiveness of the videotape and trainer's manual in conveying knowledge about interviewing techniques and developing appropriate interviewer behavior/skills. The final product at the end of Phase II will be the training kit (videotape and manual) for mass production and commercial distribution in Phase III.