Data Collection Methods
Program planners will need to select the appropriate data sources to address their evaluation goals
and questions. More information about data collection can be found in the Rural
Community Health Toolkit section, Collect
and Analyze Quantitative and Qualitative Data. Tobacco prevention and control program leaders may use a
range of different data sources, including:
Surveys and questionnaires: Rural tobacco prevention and control program staff
conduct surveys with individuals receiving services and other key stakeholders and partner
organizations. Some programs also conduct satisfaction surveys with patients as well as referring
agencies to evaluate the value of the program. The Tobacco Control Evaluation Center at the
University of California, Davis offers a sample
tobacco survey for researchers.
Focus groups and interviews: Rural tobacco prevention and
control programs may conduct focus groups with members of the public to identify needs in a
community or discuss satisfaction with a program. The Tobacco Control Evaluation Center at the
University of California, Davis offers sample
interview questions for evaluation researchers.
Observations: Rural program planners may use observation methods to record
behaviors, situations, and events related to tobacco. For example, one rural tobacco program used
observation techniques to assess the number of community members smoking in a park before and
after the enactment of a tobacco-free park ordinance.
Documents: Program leaders may review program data, electronic health record
data, administrative data, and other information to understand the outcomes of the tobacco
Policies: Program planners may choose to track tobacco-related policies that are
enacted or in development throughout the course of the program.