Appendix H: Comprehensive Question List

This example uses one health outcome, cancer, to illustrate what might data might be collected in a more comprehensive environmental health data inventory and needs assessment.

         For this outcome, are any subsets (e.g., specific types of cancer) particularly pertinent to the topic of environmental health?

         For the following questions regarding data quality and availability, note whether anything differs for data on this subset vs. the overall dataset.

         For the Pittsburgh region, what data are available on this outcome?  This could include data that are actually compiled/reported at the local, state or national level. 

         What is/are the name of the dataset(s)?  (If more than one dataset, questions below apply to each.)

         How long/frequently have you worked with the dataset(s)?

         In what format is it available? (e.g., queryable online database, static reports, data tables)

         For what years, frequency and geographic coverage area, and level of aggregation is it available for each of the above formats?

         Who collects it?

         Where can someone go to get these data, either via internet, phone, or mail? 

         How do you obtain it, and has this process proven difficult for you in any way?  

         If any special status (e.g., university researchers only) or process is needed to get the data, what is it?

         Any costs associated?

         What kind of time lag is there between collection and reporting/availability?

         What is the most current year available right now? 

         If its processed at the state level, is there a way to get it at the local or regional level sooner?

         What are major strengths/weaknesses associated with the dataset? (This could involve collection methodologies such as sample size or frequency of collection, certain populations being represented/excluded, accuracy of data entry, etc.)

         What improvements would you like to see take place in collection of this type of data? (Ask them to prioritize 2 or 3.)

         Are there any other datasets for the same outcome (existing or in development) that help to address some of these gaps?

         In a few sentences, what are the key reasons, in your opinion, that this dataset is vital to individuals interested in environmental public health in our region?

         Do you have any key statistics (i.e., using actual data) that we could use to illustrate why this dataset is important from an environmental health perspective?

         Are there any other experts in the area youd recommend?