A Mixed Methods Study Assessing the Effectiveness of Wise Guys

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Judith Herrman, PhD, MS, BSN, RN, ANEF, FAAN
School of Nursing, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA

Youth in the state of study report high levels of involvement in sexual activity and unintended pregnancies contributing to a high statewide infant mortality rate.  In response, our team plans to implement a mixed-methods study to evaluate an evidence-based, interactive curriculum, Wise Guys, designed to promote healthy relationships and sexual behavior in young men ages 14-17.  Two pilot studies were conducted with local Wise Guys groups suggesting positive changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.  These empirically based investigations revealed significant weaknesses in quantitative data collection with teens and challenges to accessing authentic teen perceptions via survey methods.  In an effort to address such challenges, the current study will include focus groups to delineate teens’ thoughts on the most salient aspects of Wise Guy which in turn will be used to develop a stakeholder-informed survey instrument.  The survey will be administered via REDCap, a computer-based medium.  Additional focus groups, member checks, and a video journaling component with content analysis will provide rich data to be interpreted with survey data to determine the value of Wise Guys.  Community engagement in the research process, tool development, web-based data collection, focus groups, video journaling methods, and data analysis will provide the infrastructure for future prevention and intervention research, as well as help to improve future evaluation efforts.  This poster highlights the previous local pilot studies and their limitations, and the proposed mixed methods study design.  Health promotion programs specific for teens can only be accurately evaluated through developmentally appropriate, technology-based, engaging, and valid methods of evaluation.  This research pilots the involvement of youth and use of youth perceptions to determine the effectiveness of the Wise Guys program and the feasibility of mixed methods approaches as means to evaluate teen programming.