Study aims to improve services for county youth
The Allegheny County Health Department, in partnership with several other community organizations, is sponsoring the Healthy Allegheny Teen Survey (HATS), a countywide research study of adolescents 14 to 19 years of age.
The voluntary survey started last week and will continue over a 12-month period in an effort to reach about 1,600 randomly selected youth. It will be conducted by telephone, using both landline and cellular numbers, and ask questions about young people’s health, behaviors and other factors that affect health such as neighborhood, school environment and social support.
The information collected is confidential and will be used by the Health Department and other health organizations to improve services based on needs identified in the survey. No names are connected to the survey and questions related to sex, bullying, violence and drug/alcohol use are asked using an automated system to ensure privacy.
The survey typically takes 30 minutes to complete. Participants are asked for their name and address only so they can receive a $20 gift card in the mail for taking part in the survey, and are never asked for their social security number or any financial information.
Anyone asked to participate in the survey can call the Health Department at 412-687-ACHD or visit its web site, http://www.achd.net, to verify the legitimacy of a call and rule out the possibility of a scam or prank.
The survey has been approved by the University of Pittsburgh’s Institutional Review Board. Those who have any questions or do not want to be contacted, should call 412-624-3126 or email HATS@pitt.edu.
The Health Department’s partners in the survey include the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and several local foundations.