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Development of a Computer-Assisted Personal Interview Software System for Collection of Tribal Fish Consumption Data


Address correspondence to A. H. Williams, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Environmental Public Health Division, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7315, USA; tel: 919-843-4833; fax: 919-966-0655;


The authors developed a computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) seafood consumption survey tool from existing Pacific NW Native American seafood consumption survey methodology. The software runs on readily available hardware and software, and is easily configured for different cultures and seafood resources. The CAPI is used with a booklet of harvest location maps and species and portion size images. The use of a CAPI facilitates tribal administration of seafood consumption surveys, allowing cost-effective collection of scientifically defensible data and tribal management of data and data interpretation. Use of tribal interviewers reduces potential bias and discomfort that may be associated with nontribal interviewers. The CAPI contains a 24-hour recall and food frequency questionnaire, and assesses seasonal seafood consumption and temporal changes in consumption. EPA's methodology for developing ambient water quality criteria for tribes assigns a high priority to local data. The CAPI will satisfy this guidance objective. Survey results will support development of tribal water quality standards on their lands and assessment of seafood consumption-related contaminant risks and nutritional benefits. CAPI advantages over paper surveys include complex question branching without raising respondent burden, more complete interviews due to answer error and range checking, data transcription error elimination, printing and mailing cost elimination, and improved data storage. The survey instrument was pilot tested among the Quinault Nation in 2006.