Week 9: First Pilot Test Couple

May 28, 2019

This past week has been mostly dedicated to preparing our recruited participants for the Phase 2 Pilot Test. Participants are usually required to complete 3 surveys in a span of 6 months: a baseline survey, a survey 3 months after the baseline survey , and lastly a survey 6 months after the baseline survey. However, for now I believe pilot test participants are delegated to only take the baseline survey.

On Monday, I was assigned to use the delegated study phone to send text messages to our pilot test participants for follow up meetings to take the phase 2 survey. We are texting our participants temporarily as we are in the process of constructing the study Instagram and Facebook accounts to contact them via direct and private messaging. Although the data from these participants will not be used in our analysis, we intend to use their experiences taking of the survey and participating with Project YESS to improve our overall recruitment and data collecting methods. After contacting the pilot test participants, I took the survey once again to look over any programming, gramatical, or spelling errors. Although I was exhausted to take the survey once again, my advisor was kind enough to assist me in the arduous task by taking the survey herself. Once we finished taking the survey, we met and discussed any errors that were found. Thankfully, there were only a few, simple spelling errors on the survey.

On Tuesday, I worked with my advisor to create the follow-up surveys. This provides us a reasonable timeframe to evaluate the sexual behaviors and histories the patricians have. When creating the follow up surveys, I simply used the already finalized Phase 2 baseline survey and edited a few questions to make them applicable with in the past three months. For example, there some questions on the baseline survey that start with, “In the past 12 months.” I deleted that phrase in all the questions and replaced it with, In the past 3 months.” I also deleted questions that weren’t applicable to the timeline at all such as, “Have you ever heard of PrEP?” as the goal of the follow up surveys is to get an idea of the overall sexual behaviors of the participants while the baseline survey covers the perceptions of STD/STI prevention methods and general sexual history in their lifetime. For the remainder of the day, I began to plan out my Senior Project Presentation, outlining what content I am going to put in certain slides.

On Thursday, we all prepared to gather at our 2nd Ave location to meet out first pilot test couple and administer the Phase 2 survey. This is very big s this is also the first couple that will ever take the survey project staff and I have tirelessly worked on for months. While preparing, I was assigned to create printouts of the survey to give to the participants and the project staff. Because the survey is administered electronically and won’t be accessible once submitted printout copies were necessary. The goal of the printouts was so we can go over some questions with the participants and ask their opinion on some of them as well.Additionally, I was assigned to create a sheet of 3 timelines for the participants to take before starting the survey. The first timeline represented the time frame between the day which they were born to today, the second timeline represented a time frame between 12 months ago to today, and the third represented a time frame between 3 months ago to today. We wanted the participants to fill in the timeline, marking any key dates in their life (related to sex or not). The goal of this exercise was to simply jog the participants’ memories so that answering the questions about their sexual histories within a given timeline, they should be able to answer it with less difficulty. We also wanted to test the exercise and see if it was effective. Once we all arrived at the 2nd Ave location, we administered the timeline exercise, the survey, and a discussion with the couple to talk about their general experience taking the survey as well as the exercise. Meeting with the couple was one of the highlights of my time working on my Senior Project as I was finally able to see a the endless amount of time I invested into the survey and other study materials come to life. Being able to devote a few hours to talk to them about their experiences with romantic relationships and the general behaviors of youth enlightened me about myself as well as my peers as a young adult.


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