Population Survey Facility (PSF)

The Population Survey Facility (PSF) faculty and staff work with investigators at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center to develop population-based surveys and obtain cross-sectional and long-term follow-up data on a range of self-reported measures (e.g., demographic information, environmental exposures, psychosocial factors, barriers to care, needs for health care services, health beliefs, behavioral measures, health outcomes, quality of life). We offer expertise in survey instrument selection and design, qualitative assessments, protocol development and implementation, data collection and data weighting, and related analytic approaches. Our staff provides technical support in geocoding and mapping of survey data to facilitate visualization and spatial temporal analysis, and we harmonize secondary data sources to increase the richness and utilization of collected survey data.

The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center’s Population Survey Facility (PSF) uses a state-of-the-art Computer-assisted Telephone Interviewing system (CATI) with 50 stations and has 60-100 trained interviewers experienced in population-based surveillance surveys available to conduct personal interviews.  Our center conducts over 20,000 interviews yearly, is open 7 days a week, and operates in the evenings to ensure the highest response rates. In addition to phone surveying, the PSF designs and conducts web, mail, in-person and mixed mode surveys, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), interactive voice response (IVR), focus groups, and in-depth interviews.  

Recent projects include:

  • Population based surveillance survey of cancer-related beliefs and behaviors in the 29-county HCC Catchment Area
  • Examination of HPV Vaccine uptake and Physician Attitudes and Practices Surrounding Vaccination
  • Rural and urban differences in cancer attitudes and screening behaviors in Western Pennsylvania
  • Investigating exposure to various environmental risk factors and the relationship to childhood cancers in Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Pennsylvania