Development of an audio-computer assisted self-interview to investigate violence and health in the lives of adults with developmental disabilities

Mary Oschwald, Sandy Leotti, Dora Raymaker, Marsha Katz, Rebecca Goe, Mark Harviston, Annie Wallington, Lisa Howard, Leanne Beers, Christina Nicolaidis, Susan Robinson-Whelen, Rosemary B. Hughes, Emily Lund, Laurie E. Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background Audio computer-assisted self-interviews (ACASIs) have safely and effectively obtained sensitive research data from the general public and have been recommended for use with people with disabilities. However, few studies have used ACASIs with people with disabilities and ACASIs have not been used to investigate the relationship between disability, interpersonal violence (IPV), and physical and psychological health among people with developmental disabilities (PWDD). Objective We developed an accessible ACASI specifically designed to allow PWDD to answer questions independently, while privately and securely collecting anonymous data related to their disability, IPV experiences, and physical and psychological health. Methods We used a safety protocol to apply community based participatory research (CBPR) principles and an iterative process to create, test, and administer a cross-sectional ACASI survey to 350 adults with developmental disabilities in urban and rural locales. Results Most participants completed the ACASI independently and reported that its accessibility features allowed them to do so. Most also agreed that the ACASI was easy to use, its questions were easy to understand, and that they would prefer using an ACASI to answer IPV and health-related questions rather than in a face-to-face interview. The majority agreed that health and safety were critical issues to address. Conclusions ACASI technology has the potential to maximize the independent and private participation of PWDD in research on sensitive topics. We recommend further exploration into accessibility options for ACASI technology, including hardware and Internet applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-301
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI)
  • Community-based participatory research (CBPR)
  • Disability
  • Violence


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