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Feb 12 -- The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) invites public comment by April 13, 2021 on the design of Research and Development Survey (RANDS) during COVID-19 (Round 3).
On February 8, NCHS received a six-month OMB emergency clearance for a Research and Development Survey (RANDS) COVID-19 related data collection. This information collection is a follow-on survey (Round 3) to the previously completed rounds of RANDS. Similar to the previous two rounds of RANDS completed during COVID-19, this information collection will use NORC's AmeriSpeak Panel as its sample source. Even though OMB approved RANDS Round 3 for six months, NCHS invites public comments on its design.

The RANDS COVID-19 (Round 3) collection will be used for the purpose of continuing NCHS' developmental survey methods and will generate data that can help explain health-related experiences of the United States population during this period. The data collection includes not only a research component, but will also contribute to CDC's ongoing surveillance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the current outbreak and the resulting limitations placed on NCHS' other data collections, RANDS will provide NCHS and CDC with early estimates of COVID-19-related concepts. The questionnaire will cover areas such as general health, psychological distress, chronic conditions, health behaviors, the outbreak's effects on healthcare access, loss of work due to illness with COVID-19, telemedicine access and use, and other health and behavioral aspects related to the epidemic.
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, RANDS Round 3 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.

FR notice inviting public comments: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/12/2021-02950/proposed-data-collection-submitted-for-public-comment-and-recommendations
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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