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Center for Research & Evaluation

Since the late 1980s, the Center for Research and Evaluation has provided form design, data entry and verification, programming, data management, and data analysis as fee-for-service to faculty and student researchers in the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing (SON). Currently, the CRE supports the design and implementation of paper-and-pencil, computer-based and web-based data collection forms.  Systems analysts and programmers are available to provide network and systems support and data management and programming services. Experienced PhD-prepared and Masters-prepared statisticians are available to support the analysis of data generated from observational (cross-sectional/survey, prospective cohort and retrospective case-control), experimental/intervention, and meta-analytic studies.

In addition to providing methodological, statistical and data processing support for research, the CRE supports educational evaluation in the School of Nursing.  Faculty statisticians serve as liaisons to the SON Evaluation Steering Committee, offering measurement, methodological and statistical consultation.  CRE staff design and implement end of program surveys and process and analyze survey data collected from program graduates.

The CRE also houses the School of Nursing’s international visiting scholars. These short-term international faculty and students are offered all non-academic services in the CRE such as: cubicle space, computers, phone, printers, and any other help pertaining to the logistics of their visit. The CRE administrator and assistant administrator both serve as the non-academic contact persons to the international visiting scholars.

The CRE of the School of Nursing also houses a computer lab for use by research faculty, research staff and doctoral students. The CRE Data Lab contains 8 Dell Pentium-class computers running Windows;  black and white HP LaserJet printers, a Dell laser color printer, and a  flatbed scanner (with document feeder) are also available and locally networked. Two additional Fujitsu scanners are dedicated to support data entry via optical scanning. The lab contains the full-versions of the major statistical software packages (SAS, SPSS, STATA, and S-Plus). Specialty statistical packages are also accessible in the lab, including Mplus, LISREL, EQS, and AMOS for structural equation modeling; HLM for hierarchical modeling; StatXact and LogXact for discrete data analyses with exact estimation methods; SOLAS for missing data description and imputation; and PASS for sample size estimation and power analysis. Popular qualitative analysis software are also available, including ATLAS.ti and Nvivo. Oracle, Access and Excel are available for data management. Teleform is available for data entry and validation of large data sets requiring paper-and-pencil data collection forms.

Our researchers are addressing some of the most challenging issues facing today's health care practitioners. The CRE supports the following areas of research:

  • Behavioral management of chronic disorders including adherence, self-management, technology, and prevention activities
  • Patient management in critical care including communication, recovery, and end of life care
  • Consumer informatics including education, care management, usability, and health literacy
  • Genetics applications in nursing care focusing on molecular genetics and psychosocial implications
  • Technology for nurses and patients to improve care

The CRE support services include the following:

  1. Design and consultation for analysis of data, as well as, training in design and data management
  2. Scientific review of proposals
  3. Proposal packaging
  4. Maintenance and dissemination of information on funding, conference and research development and training opportunities
  5. Faculty and doctoral student development in research methodology
  6. Consultation on research program development