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P98 Virtual Notes are an Accurate Alternative to Those Taken In-Person During Cognitive Interviews

Shelnutt, Karla, Garcia, Elder, Sweeney, Lauren, Mialki, Kaley, Zeldman, Jamie, Eck, Kaitlyn
Journal of nutrition education and behavior 2019 v.51 no.7 pp. S77
cognition, educational materials, interviews, meals (menu), physical activity
Cognitive interviews (CIs) are used by nutrition researchers to refine educational materials and ensure they are appropriate for the target population. CIs are facilitated by a trained moderator while a trained scribe takes detailed notes. Traditionally, the scribe is in-person for the CIs, but it can be challenging to align schedules to best meet participant and researcher needs. Technology such as video conferencing that allows virtual notetaking may be an alternative method to collect data while easing the scheduling burden.To determine whether notes taken virtually are as accurate as those taken in-person during CIs.Researchers tested the content of three nutrition lessons (e.g., portions, physical activity, and family meals) using CIs. Each CI was conducted by a moderator and a trained scribe. Each lesson was tested three times by the same scribe. Initially the scribe took notes in-person and then virtually during the next two CIs. A third, trained researcher reviewed and compared notes. Moderators and scribes were interviewed to determine differences in experience.Notes were analyzed for quality, content, length, interview duration, and indications of non-verbal behavior.Moderators and scribes noticed no differences in their ability to conduct or record CIs. Quality was consistent between virtual and in-person notes. Virtual notes for the same lesson ranged from 211 words shorter to 243 words longer than in-person notes. The virtual notes were on average shorter (22.67 ± 236.67SD words/interview) than in-person notes. Indications of non-verbal behaviors (e.g., laughing, looking confused) were made slightly more often in the in-person notes. Virtual and in-person CIs took about the same amount of time to complete with virtual CIs lasting between 13 minutes longer and 10 minutes shorter than in-person CIs.Virtual notetaking is an appropriate and accurate method for obtaining detailed notes during a CI. Utilizing current technology can help ease research burdens such as scheduling and travel.NIFA.