Health-e-NC Pilot Research Proposal Opportunity Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ will be updated as questions are asked and answered. Version: 6/13/14

Q: Can a researcher pick which CHART modules and questions to use?

A. Absolutely! You have discretion as to which questions and modules you use.

Q: Do the existing questions drive the feedback?

A. Yes, our message libraries do have algorithms. Note that not every single question has an algorithm; some of them are simply for research purposes.  You can view existing questions at chart.unc.edu; go to “Question Source” on the sidebar menu.

Q: How important is it to use the tailored feedback component of CHART?

A. Tailored feedback has been shown to be effective in a wide range of interventions. Thus, we ask that applicants include some type of tailored feedback with CHART (otherwise, CHART only serves as a survey). CHART has existing message libraries that offer tailored feedback prepared for several different types of audiences.  The “generic audience” version of the message library is available as well. For the purposes of this RFA, we ask that you 1) use these message libraries as is and test their effectiveness as part of your intervention;, 2) create a new module, including its message library, and test effectiveness as part of your intervention, or 3) modify the message libraries to conform to a new audience and test those messages.  In all cases, we expect CHART plus tailored feedback to enhance all interventions and perhaps boost the effectiveness of some other intervention component (coaching, wearables, physician prompts, etc.) that you might want to test.

Q: What options exist for using CHART if my population isn’t likely to have access to the internet?

A. If your population doesn’t have access to tablets or smartphones, you can build in the ability to use those things (purchase, borrow) in your budget proposal. Health-e-NC does have 2 tablets available to borrow for CHART studies.

Q: Could a researcher embed a video-based intervention in the CHART interface?

A. Yes – you could put it in the message libraries.

Q: What kind of output does CHART provide the participant?

A. Participants can view a one-page “Your CHART Summary” when they complete all items in each health behavior module.  Based on participant personal results, the Your Chart Summary indicates green (meets recommendations) or yellow (doesn’t meet recommendations).  In addition, participants are directed to a personalized, tailored full report.

In addition, participants can view and print a one-page report summarizing key results at a glance. This one page report should be printed and brought to a primary care provider visit to guide discussions and decision-making at that visit.

Q: Can you repeat administration of CHART?

A: Yes.  It can be used on repeat administrations to monitor change in health behaviors.

Q: Can we use paper version of CHART? How does data and customization work?

A: We strongly prefer you use the online version.  A benefit to using CHART online is that it enables you to provide links to resources that take you exactly where you need to go.  CHART existed originally in paper format and has evolved into a much more dynamic electronic tool.  If you are looking to specifically use a paper version, please contact the project staff.  

Q: Have any previous researchers of CHART had participants take a pre-survey online and then later had them do the post-survey at home or via email?

A. Not yet. Also, researchers can use CHART’s back end capabilities to keep up with participants’ progress.  For instance, you can see who has completed what modules, their last login date, etc., and then you can prompt with emails.

Q: If a researcher wants to translate a module, does that refer to a literal translation as well as making cultural adaptations to the content?

A. Yes. One example of modifying an existing CHART module is to translate it word for word in Spanish.  Another example is to culturally adapt the content in addition to the translation.  

Q: If a researcher wants to use existing CHART modules AND create a new module, would we have to budget for both, i.e., $3,900 + $8,000 = $11,900?

A. No, it’s not additive. You would only need to include $8,000 in your budget.  However, if you are modifying an existing module, you would have to budget for both the use of the module ($3900) and the hourly modification rate ($65/hour). For specific questions and budget estimates, please contact project staff.

Q: Can any faculty get salary support?

A. Proposals can include up to 10% salary support for research track faculty.  Tenure track faculty are not eligible to receive any salary support.

Q: Why are tenure track faculty members not eligible to receive salary support?

A. Generally for projects such as Health-e-NC is proposing, the University Cancer Research Fund, which funds this, has not supported faculty salary for overall or project PIs and has limited all faculty support and required a strong justification for such.  This is because the funds come from the General Assembly, and the state legislature already provides funds to UNC (as a public institution) for faculty support – so Lineberger wants to prevent the perception (among lawmakers) that faculty researchers are “double dipping.”

Since research track faculty are responsible for obtaining grants to cover 100% of their salary, we don’t have this concern for this type of appointment.

Q: If we already have a funded intervention, can we still apply to use CHART in another existing research project?

A. Yes, we are open to that. In such a case, the pilot grant would be akin to a supplement to the existing research project.

Q.  Can these funds be applied to support the use of CHART in a multi-year intervention even though Health-e-NC pilot funding is just for one year?

A. We think so, but we’ll need to discuss on a case-by-case basis. We’re open to talking about using it and sustaining it. Programming would be done in year one so it would be minimal cost down the road. For example, we could consider having a delayed start date for a pilot grant, since have some flexibility about when it starts.

Q: Is there anyone who has already used CHART whom we could talk to about how the process has been?

A. Yes, UNC researchers have used CHART in several studies. If you’re interested in talking with one of them, contact Health-e-NC project staff for a referral.

Q: Is there any outcome data on CHART?

A. Not yet, though CHART has been included as part of an intervention in several studies. CHART was designed as a baseline data collection tool and has been used in several multi-level community intervention trials.  We added tailored feedback that gave participants feedback on their health status, barriers, self-efficacy and readiness to change as a way to enhance the intervention capacity of the tool.  Researchers received support from Lineberger to include both online and phone versions of CHART.  Although CHART has demonstrated feasibility in several intervention studies, no studies have been designed to test the unique intervention effects or capacity of this tool.  Now is the time and this RFA is designed to do that.  

Q: Are there any HIPAA issues?

A: CHART does not store any identifying information.  There is sample IRB language on the chart.unc.edu website.  All CHART data is de-identified and stored on Bioinformatics' secure servers.  You as a researcher would have the connecting info but CHART does not.

Q: Does CHART maintain de-identified study ID #s?

A. Yes.

Q: How much of your vision is health promotion, or would you consider other strategies like improving patient care?

A. CHART is primarily focused on assessing and intervening on individual health behaviors for various populations (e.g., young adults, patients, cancer survivors, etc.).  Your proposal would have to make a compelling case for how changing provider practices would lead to patient behavior changes.

Also, if you have a clinical focus, the focus must clearly be on cancer care.

Q: Can CHART link directly from Epic (or vice versa)?

A. At present, there is not a way for Epic and CHART to “talk” with each other.  That said, we view Epic as a participant recruitment tool, since it captures email addresses. A researcher can identify cases using Epic (e.g., women aged 35-60 who haven’t had a mammogram in the last five years) and target an intervention to that group through CHART.  To the end-user (people outside) it will appear seamless even though CHART is not embedded in Epic.

NOTE: A governance structure is being developed for how researchers can interface with Epic.  That won’t open up until early 2015. In the meantime, we see this RFA as an opportunity to use CHART creatively in the clinical setting.

Q: Does Health-e-NC have a relationship with Epic programmers?

A.  No, not at this point. There is no formal agreement, although CHAI and Health-e-NC are in regular communication with Epic staff.

Q: Why are you requiring grantees to get together on a monthly basis once they’re funded?

A.  We view grantees as a cohort; this funding provides a great opportunity for both Health-e-NC staff and the grantees themselves to learn from each other as we seek to optimize the CHART resource.