It has become more common to recruit research study participants through online panel vendors, such as GfK or Qualtrics. In a publication made available recently in PubMed Central from Evaluation and the Health Professions, Dr. Meme Wang-Schweig from the Prevention Research Center at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and her coauthors (including Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel), report on the use of panel vendors for recruiting research participants into a randomized controlled trial. The research study was testing an online, family-based alcohol prevention program for parents and older teens, called Smart Choices 4 Teens.
Panel vendors are hired to recruit and match potential research participants to a target population for data collection. Most panel vendors use non-probability sampling which does not involve random selection. People opt in to participate. The vendors advertise for panelists using website banner ads, emails, direct mail, etc. Panelists are paid but may also enjoy contributing their opinions to a research study. Panel vendors can recruit a potential research sample quickly.
Dr. Wang-Schweig’s paper endeavors to answer two methodological questions: (1) how well do panel vendors provide a sample of families to participate in a trial who meet specific inclusion criteria, and (2) how well do panel vendors provide a sample of families to participate in a trial who reflect the make-up of the general population? Using the Smart Choice 4 Teens project’s experience as a real-world example, the authors describe the process of working with panel vendors, the sample’s match to the intended target population, and the additional screening they employed to ensure the quality of the sample. Several recommendations are made for other research teams looking to use panel vendors to recruit study participants.
Smart Choice 4 Teens was supported by a grant from the National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA020977; Dr. Brenda Miller, PIRE, Principal
Investigator). Dr. Wang-Schweig’s coauthors for this publication included Dr.
Brenda Miller, Dr. Hilary Byrnes, Dr. Beth Bourdeau, and Ms. Veronica Rogers
from PIRE; and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel.
Improving occupational sun protection is a priority in the United States, as The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer highlights. Klein Buendel and its collaborators responded to the call by launching a randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a workplace sun protection program for outdoor workers. The program, Sun Safe Workplaces, was implemented with 98 public employers in Colorado, a state with high ultraviolet radiation due to its high elevation and sunny climate. The intervention promoted the adoption or strengthening of sun safety policy and the implementation of employee sun protection training. A two-year follow-up study also was completed with 68 of the 98 public sector employers.
In a recent publication in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Klein Buendel Senior Scientist, and her coauthors reported results related to the hypothesis that senior managers’ awareness of sun protection policy in the workplace would predict increased sun safety practices by employers and employees who work outdoors.
A full description of the methods (questionnaires and on-site observations), results, conclusions, and limitations of the research can be found in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine publication. In general, more sun safety messages, manager-employee communication, sun safety practices, and sun protection equipment (sunscreen, hats, etc. ) were evident when senior managers were more aware of their organization’s sun protection policy.
Overall, the authors found that occupational sun protection programs can be more effective on the “front line” (with people who work outdoors) when the “back office” (senior management) is aware of and can, therefore, support and encourage their organization’s sun safety policies and practices.
This analysis was funded by a grant from the National Cancer
Institute at the National Institutes of Health (CA134705; Dr. David Buller and
Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Principal Investigators). Dr. Walkosz’s coauthors on this
paper included Dr. David Buller, Ms. Mary Buller, and Ms. Xia (Lucia) Liu from
Klein Buendel, and Dr. Allan Wallis from the University of Colorado Denver.
Klein Buendel has licensed its online responsible vendor training program for recreational marijuana stores, Train To Tend®, to Avid Will LLC for sales and marketing. Senior Scientists, Dr. David Buller and Dr. W. Gill Woodall, and their collaborators created Train To Tend to provide retail staff with knowledge and skills to sell recreational marijuana responsibly in an effort to keep their communities safe. Avid Will LLC will make Train to Tend available immediately to retail recreational marijuana stores in Colorado. State-specific versions for Oregon, Washington State, Massachusetts, and California will be launched this year, as well.
In 2017 and
2018, Train To Tend was tested using a random sample of state-licensed
recreational marijuana stores (n=225) in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington
State. One hundred twenty-five stores were randomly selected to receive the
Train To Tend training while the remaining stores received the usual and
customary training in their state. Post-training surveys were administered to
Train To Tend trainees to gauge their perceptions of self-efficacy toward responsible
vending practices, as well as their ratings of usability for Train To Tend.
improved trainees’ ability to check IDs, and their confidence in using their
state’s inventory tracking system and identifying intoxicated customers. Trainees
rated the training as user-friendly and thought that the information and skills
learned in the training would help keep their communities safe. In a recent
review, Danielle, an Instructional Designer for Native Roots, a Colorado retail
chain, said “Train To Tend has been effective and engaging for our employees,
and we are thankful for the Train To Tend team and their online responsible vendor
development and evaluation of Train to Tend was funded by a grant from the
National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health (DA038933;
Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). Additional scientific collaborators
include Dr. W. Gill Woodall from Klein Buendel and Dr. Robert Saltz from the
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in California.