Time to Analyze

After work began back on campus this summer, I began pouring through both the data from my surveys and the responses from the Comité de Salud’s health census that they had given to me while in country.

The census data was compiled into a single list and sent to the leaders of our partnering clinic from VCU. Compilation of the responses demonstrates that the average family size is around 5-6 people in a given household. Additionally, a large number of households in the community have varying degrees of insurance and documentation – at times only one or two of the several children in the household will be documented. By obtaining this data and any information we can about the community, SOMOS can hopefully partner with either the clinic or the CDS to promote a better campaign to secure insurance for residents or improve documentation status. In doing so, we would be able to improve the chances of improved health care for the community members – as the lack of insurance makes it extremely difficult to receive the proper care, even from the local free clinics.

With respect to the dengue interview data, Dr. Aday and I decided upon a method for coding the responses so as to easily analyze frequencies, patterns, correlations, and cross tabulations. By doing this, we can evaluate the degree to which the community is concerned about dengue, as well as the levels of knowledge among community members. Once we identify relevant frequencies and unique correlations, I will then strive to ask questions about these correlations that allow me to delve deeper in understanding of the knowledge we have ascertained from the community as well as the literature, which will help me as I continue my quest for a heightened awareness of the Health Beliefs Model and its relationship with dengue.


How was this coding done you might ask? Here is an example of the coding I decided to use after looking through data for scaled response or yes/no questions:

1. Are you concerned about dengue for you and others in your household?

  • 0 (No)
  • 1 (A little)
  • 2 (Yes)
  • 3 (Very much)


For a more open ended type question, I have decided to scale things based on a guiding principle – for this particular question, coding  was based on the given obstacle: can it be surmounted? then, is it a key obstacle that needs to be surmounted in preventing dengue?

3. What are the major problems for reducing the risk of dengue for yourself and your family?

  • 0 (nothing, sense of inability to reduce risk i.e. always mosquitoes),
  • 1 (lack of vaccination *There is none*),
  • 2 (the canada – cannot necessarily be surmounted without large scale actions from the EWB)
  • 3 (lack of resources, large community scale action necessary – sometimes govenmental ie insurance)
  • 4 (the trash/ maintaining cleanliness – highly effective, cited as a key determinant)
  • 5 (water – the most common source of dengue)
  • 6 (lack of community awareness- in public health literature, cited as one of the most determining prevention factors)
  • 7 (there are no obstacles)


After coding all of the data, I hope to continue forward. Now the fun part, as Dr. Aday put it. Hopefully, we are getting closer and closer to finding a campaign that could both inspire the CDS and prevent a community-wide epidemic.




  1. emilymasi says:

    Your work sounds very interesting and pertinent, Morgan. I didn’t realize that not all children would be documented for insurance purposes. I will be interested to see SOMOS’ future steps and partnerships with the clinic and CDS to improve conditions.