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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10625/44070

Title: Handheld computers for survey and trial data collection in resource-poor settings : development and evaluation of PDACT, a Palm TM pilot interviewing system
Authors: Seebregts, Christopher J.
Zwarenstein, Merrick
Mathews, Catherine
Fairall, Lara
Flisher, Alan J.
Seebregts, Clive
Mukoma, Wanjiru
Klepp, Knut-Inge
Keywords: INTERVIEWS
COMPUTER PROGRAMS
SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
HEALTH SERVICES
HEALTH SURVEYS
HEALTH STATISTICS
MOBILE DATA COLLECTION SYSTEM
PDA STRUCTURED MEDICAL RECORD FORM
COMPUTER-ASSISTED PERSONAL
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Elsevier Ireland, Shannon, County Clare, IE
Abstract: Objective: Handheld computers (personal digital assistant, PDA) have the potential to reduce the logistic burden, cost, and error rate of paper-based health research data collection, but there is a lack of appropriate software. The present work describes the development and evaluation of PDACT, a Personal Data Collection Toolset (www.healthware.org/pdact/index.htm) for the PalmTM Pilot handheld computer for interviewer-administered and respondent-administered data collection. // Methods: We developed Personal Data Collection Toolkit (PDACT) software to enable questionnaires developed in QDSTM Design Studio, a WindowsTM application, to be compiled and completed on PalmTM Pilot devices and evaluated in several representative field survey settings. // Results: The software has been used in seven separate studies and in over 90,000 interviews. Five interviewer-administered studies were completed in rural settings with poor communications infrastructure, following one day of interviewer training. Two respondent -administered questionnaire studies were completed by learners, in urban secondary schools, after 15 min training. // Questionnaires were available on each handheld in up to 11 languages, ranged from 20 to 580 questions, and took between 15 and 90 min to complete. Up to 200 PalmTM Pilot devices were in use on a single day and, in about 50 device-years of use, very few technical problems were found. Compared with paper-based collection, data validation and cleaning timeswere reduced, and fewer errors were found. // PDA data collection is easy to use and preferred by interviewers and respondents (both respondent-administered and interviewer-administered) over paper. Data are compiled and available within hours of collection facilitating data quality assurance. Although hardware increases the setup cost of the first study, the cumulative cost falls thereafter, and onverges on the cumulative cost of paper-based studies (four, in the case of our interviewer-administered studies). Handheld data collection is an appropriate, affordable and convenient technology for health data collection, in diverse settings.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10625/44070
Project Number: 101974
Project Title: Developer Network : Open Source Personal Digital Assistant Software for Health Data Collection
Document Delivery: To enquire about document delivery, contact the IDRC Library : library@idrc.ca or 613-696-2578 / Pour plus de renseignements sur la livraison de documents, communiquer avec la bibliothèque du CRDI : bibliothèque@crdi.ca ou 613-696-2578
Appears in Collections:IDRC Research Results / Résultats de recherches du CRDI
Research Results (ACACIA) / Résultats de recherches (ACACIA)
Health / Santé
2000-2009 / Années 2000-2009

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