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Vol. 2, No. 22                                                                                                            Oct. 30, 2019

Cancer Institute Member Spotlight

Donald J. Johann Jr., M.Sc., M.D., FACP
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Informatics
UAMS College of Medicine
Scientific Director, UAMS Genomics Facility
As a medical oncologist, Dr. Johann focuses on the application of advanced molecular profiling and high-throughput technologies for the characterization of genetic-based alterations in cancer cells. Read more>
Survey Data Team Services Available to Researchers
For population-based studies, the survey questionnaire can easily be at least 20 pages long, with hundreds or thousands of participants. The data entry is a daunting task if using the traditional manual key-punch process, which is not only time consuming but also error prone.

In 2004, Joseph Su, Ph.D., M.P.H., (pictured left) adapted the Verity Teleform system, previously known as Cardiff Teleform, for the North Carolina – Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project, a project funded by the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research 
Program. For this study, questionnaires were developed and laid out using Microsoft Word. Su is a professor in the UAMS College of Public Health. The system Su developed, named Form Designer, can arrange the scannable forms using Verity Teleform software for both the front-end form line-up and back-end data linkage, allowing for data export after scanning. Once the forms are developed, the scannable questionnaires can be printed with a laser printer on 8½” x 11” paper.

After the questionnaire is completed by a participant using a black or blue pen, it is scanned and filed using a Teleform-linked high-speed scanner. The electronic file of the questionnaire then can be verified and converted into electronic database of choice, i.e., Excel, SAS, SPSS, CSV, etc.

The system was subsequently used in studies across the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center where Su worked at the time. Since joining UAMS, Su acquired the same system and trained Richard Tatum II, a seasoned survey interviewer in the UAMS College of Public Health, to implement this system for studies in which he is involved. Tatum recently distributed a Teleform-designed Cancer Institute membership survey at Grand Rounds. Su’s team scanned the 87 completed questionnaires, converted them into the electronic database and generated summary statistics by 3 p.m. the same day.

The service of this highly efficient and accurate system is available to researchers who are interested in conducting surveys on paper documents that can be converted into an analyzable electronic database.

If a researcher is interested in conducting an online survey or electronic survey using a tablet, Su’s survey data team can help design and set that up as well. For information, contact Joseph Su at      
"The NCI Bottom Line" is grantee-focused blog that covers the latest on NCI’s fiscal landscape, funding decisions, grants policy news, processes and more. Visit the blog here and check back often for updates of interest to cancer researchers.
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