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Kalsbeek, William D. & Hartwell, Tyler D. (1977). Head and Spinal Cord Injuries: A Pilot Study of Morbidity Survey Procedures. American Journal of Public Health, 67(11), 1051-1057. PMCID: PMC1653760


This paper describes a pilot case-finding survey which allowed statistical resolution of a number of methodological issues facing researchers who conduct such surveys. The pilot study for a national survey assessing the incidence, prevalence, and economic impact of head and spinal cord injuries, was conducted in eight geographically representative country sites and involved a study of field procedures in several different types of medical facilities. The scope of this paper is limited to the study of procedures used in hospitals. It concluded that: (1) inexperienced field staff were as productive as experienced field staff for activities such as listing discharges and abstracting patient records; (2) field staff familiarity with facility record systems was associated with success in securing hospital cooperation; (3) endorsements by national chapters of relevant professional and health-related associations were sufficient for securing hospital cooperation; and (4) neither hospital characteristics (e.g., size) nor the degree of participation by cooperating hospitals was associated with any significant differences in field staff productivity.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health


Kalsbeek, William D.
Hartwell, Tyler D.