HRA uses a participatory research approach. In this approach, intended audiences are asked to contribute to the research. We conduct in depth interviewing and focus groups to inform the content and design of health communication materials and other interventions. We train community members to collect information within their own networks. Involving the target audience early on ensures that our research is meaningful and that our interventions meet people’s real-life needs.
• Emergency Preparedness Communication
• The Wellness Guide
Also known as “transdisciplinary research,” this emerging field of scientific study converts research to effective action across disciplines and sectors. HRA’s translational projects develop relevant and realistic interventions based on the latest scientific findings.
• Diabetes in Vulnerable Asian Populations in Alameda County
• Hasilo Nepal: Oral Health Project to Fight Child Malnutrition
Mixed Methods Design
HRA researchers are experts in qualitative and quantitative research design. These methods are often combined—for example, qualitative focus groups are used to investigate a new topic and inform the development of a quantitative telephone survey. Mixed methods designs are especially effective in the investigation of a new research question or an unstudied population. We find that starting with qualitative work allows subjects to “tell their story” and results in a more meaningful quantitative study.
• California Parents Kit Evaluation
• Medi-Cal Access Project
We work closely and collaboratively with organizations to help them assess the effectiveness of their programs. We design evaluations to measure the impact of consumer education and health promotion programs. We provide targeted recommendations for program improvement and train agencies to conduct their own ongoing evaluations
• Diabetes in Vulnerable Populations in Contra Costa County
Evaluation of Health Communication Materials
HRA uses techniques such as usability testing, readability assessments, and focus group evaluations to evaluate print and web materials for people with limited health literacy and limited English proficiency.
• Communicating Biomonitoring Results to Parents of Young Girls
HRA employs a usability testing process to evaluate websites and printed materials with their intended audiences. Usability tests are in-depth, one-on-one interviews with consumers to elicit feedback on the content and design of materials. Usability tests allow us to quickly and accurately identify elements that are confusing, such as difficult concepts, complex web navigation, or ambiguous icons. Usability testing can also help identify potential problem areas, such as a photo or heading that the user dislikes or does not understand. HRA conducts usability tests in multiple languages.
• Biomonitoring Communications
• Medicare Health Literacy Project
HRA is experienced in conducting focus groups with vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach populations, such as seniors, persons with disabilities, and people with limited English proficiency. We have the capacity to conduct focus groups in over 14 languages, including American Sign Language.
• From Hospital to Home: Improving Transitional Care for Adults
• Quality of Life with Epilepsy
Telephone Survey Research
HRA specializes in conducting telephone surveys with vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. We have developed techniques for conducting surveys with seniors, persons with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency. We also have the capacity to develop telephone survey instruments that are translated accurately across multiple languages.
• A Multilingual Mass Communication Intervention for Seniors and People with Disabilities on Medicaid: RCT
• Medi-Cal Access Project