The Houston Area Survey on Health, Education, and the Arts (SHEA)

Development of the Survey Instruments

The SHEA study focuses on the residents of Harris County, since almost 70 percent of everyone in the vast, ten-county, multi-centered Houston metropolitan region resides in this county.

The research team organized and convened a series of planning sessions, focus group discussions, and one-on-one interviews with local experts and stakeholders in a concerted effort to ensure that the research is of real and lasting value to the wider Houston community and across the nation.

We have also identified a group of important national figures in each of the three substantive areas, and invited the most knowledgeable and experienced experts available to serve on the advisory panels guide the design and structure of the new surveys. Click here for a list of the researchers and experts who participated  in this process.

Given that a growing number of Americans are eliminating the traditional landlines in favor of cellphones, a trend led by the young and the poor, it is critical to secure interviews from a random-digit-dialing (RDD) sample of cellphone numbers. The sampling design for this study included 70% of landline and 30% of cellular telephone numbers selected randomly from the pool of numbers expected to serve the Harris County area. The use of a dual-frame RDD sampling design compensated for undercoverage bias.

Using "back translation" and the reconciliation of discrepancies, the questionnaires were translated into Spanish.The final questionnaires were reformatted and programmed into the computer-assisted telephone interviewing system, also known as CATI, for use in interviewing. Bilingual supervisors and interviewers were assigned to the project at all times.