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Feb 2 -- The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) requests emergency OMB approval for Round 3 of the Research and Development Survey (RANDS), designed to generate data that can help explain health-related experiences of the US population during the pandemic.  
The National Center for Health Statistics’ (NCHS) requests emergency approval for six months to continue conducting Research and Development Survey (RANDS) during COVID-19.  The overall goal of the broader NCHS RANDS project is to leverage commercially-created and maintained survey panels to supplement and expand NCHS’ methodological research.  Furthermore, RANDS during COVID-19 will allow NCHS to quickly obtain and disseminate information about selected population health characteristics during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and to provide documentation supporting the validity of pandemic-related survey questions, including questions, such as those on telehealth access and use, that will continue to be important for public health after the pandemic.  

Two rounds of RANDS during COVID-19 were approved on an emergency basis in May 2020 (OMB No. 0920-1298, expiration: 11/30/2020); prior to this, RANDS has been conducted under the Collaborating Center for Questionnaire Design and Evaluation Research’s (CCQDER) Generic Clearance (OMB No. 0920-0222, expiration: 8/31/2021). We are now requesting a new emergency clearance for this data collection.  In addition to continuing the methodological objectives of previous RANDS (including the previous two rounds of RANDS during COVID-19), given the ongoing demands for timely information related to the COVID-19 pandemic, NCHS proposes to take advantage of past methodological advancements of the RANDS program to use the survey to provide information on selected population health characteristics related to COVID-19.   
In particular, this third round of RANDS during COVID-19 will allow NCHS to release a new set of experimental estimates on three important areas: work loss due to illness with COVID-19, telemedicine use and access, and missed care due to the pandemic.  In addition, this round of RANDS will be interpreted in the context of other information collections during the COVID-19 response, particularly the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey during the COVID-19 Epidemic (referred to throughout as the “Census Pulse Survey”, OMB No.  0607-1013), which collects weekly data on temporal and geographic trends.

Specifically, this emergency information collection request has two purposes: (a) generation of data that can help explain health-related experiences of the US population during the pandemic and (b) continuation of developmental survey methods research. These purposes encompass three distinct, but related, activities:

1.    Experimental Estimation Production: The RANDS-COVID-19 survey, which will be conducted by NORC using their commercially-available probability Amerispeak survey panel and whose data will be calibrated to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) based on previous NCHS RANDS research findings.

2.    Estimation Research:  Continued research into the similarities, differences, and potential for calibration between RANDS and other NCHS and federal surveys, including the NHIS, the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), and the Census Pulse Survey.   

3.    Measurement Research:  Continue the evaluation and validation of COVID-19- other health-related survey questions via methods such as web probing and experimental design.

The subject matter covered in RANDS during COVID-19 will primarily focus on health related population characteristics, while the questionnaire will also include items to be used in the calibration to NHIS, to compare to data collected from the NHIS, to compare to other COVID-19 related data collections that do not focus on health, and for question evaluation.  RANDS is designed to include a set of health questions from the NHIS for the purpose of calibration to increase alignment, and reduce differences due to differential response, between sources associated with heath.  Further, RANDS during COVID-19 includes questions included on other Federal COVID-19 surveys for ‘cross-walking’ and triangulation of information among sources.  This triangulation will allow NCHS to make more robust and detailed interpretations of the items shared across the surveys.

Emergency RANDS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202102-0920-004 Click on IC List for questionnaire, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation.
Point of contact:  Paul J Scanlon Jr, PhD, Senior Behavioral Scientist, Collaborating Center for Questionnaire Design and Evaluation Research Division of Research and Methodology, National Center for Health Statistics/CDC 301-458-4649 pscanlon@cdc.gov

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