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Georgia Southern offers service through new Center for Survey Research and Health Information

Recognizing the growing need for reliable decision-making data, especially in the healthcare field, researchers at Georgia Southern University have created the Center for Survey Research and Health Information. The center is available to provide services not only for the University, but also for the larger community.

‘Surveys are common research methods in political, health, and social sciences, and in marketing,” said Gerald Ledlow, associate professor of health services administration and director of the center. ‘But creating and administering a survey and analyzing the results can be huge task. Because we have the expertise, the software, and the experience in this area, we can provide a very useful service, especially in the healthcare area. The center can do telephone and e-mail surveys, Web-based surveys, household visits, focus groups, and direct mail surveys. We are a full-service shop.”

The center grew from a project recently completed by biostatistics professor Robert Vogel and his colleagues and graduate students. At the request of the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, Vogel, a faculty member in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, developed an extensive survey to get an accurate view of how adults perceive health and health care in their region. The survey, including both demographic items and questions about health care, insurance, and access to medical care, was administered as a pilot study in Baker County, Georgia.

‘It was good to see that 80 percent of our respondents said their health was good or excellent,” said Vogel. ‘The survey respondents reported good access to health care, and most put a lot of faith in their primary physicians.”

Vogel trained a small group of graduate students to complete the telephone survey. Calls were made both during the days and evenings and on weekends, and calls were attempted up to 10 times before a number was eliminated from the study.

A focal point of the survey was to determine whether men and women are benefiting from the screening methods available to detect breast, cervical, colon, and prostate cancer. A full report on the results of the study was presented to the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, which will then be able to use the data to assess needs in the area and develop new and effective screening programs.

For more information about the Center for Survey Research and Health Information, contact Dr. Ledlow in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, 912-681-5653 or go to http://jphcoph.georgiasouthern.edu.

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