Finding needles in a haystack: A methodology for identifying and sampling community-based youth smoking cessation programs

Sherry Emery*, Jungwha Lee, Susan J. Curry, Tim Johnson, Amy K. Sporer, Robin Mermelstein, Brian Flay, Richard Warnecke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Surveys of community-based programs are difficult to conduct when there is virtually no information about the number or locations of the programs of interest. This article describes the methodology used by the Helping Young Smokers Quit (HYSQ) initiative to identify and profile community-based youth smoking cessation programs in the absence of a defined sample frame. Methods: We developed a two-stage sampling design, with counties as the first-stage probability sampling units. The second stage used snowball sampling to saturation, to identify individuals who administered youth smoking cessation programs across three economic sectors in each county. Multivariate analyses modeled the relationship between program screening, eligibility, and response rates and economic sector and stratification criteria. Cumulative logit models analyzed the relationship between the number of contacts in a county and the number of programs screened, eligible, or profiled in a county. Results: The snowball process yielded 9,983 unique and traceable contacts. Urban and high-income counties yielded significantly more screened program administrators; urban counties produced significantly more eligible programs, but there was no significant association between the county characteristics and program response rate. There is a positive relationship between the number of informants initially located and the number of programs screened, eligible, and profiled in a county. Discussion: Our strategy to identify youth tobacco cessation programs could be used to create a sample frame for other nonprofit organizations that are difficult to identify due to a lack of existing directories, lists, or other traditional sample frames.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalEvaluation Review
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Community health promotion programs
  • Organizational research
  • Program evaluation
  • Youth smoking cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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