AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 505–521 | Cite as

Conducting Internet-Based HIV/STD Prevention Survey Research: Considerations in Design and Evaluation

  • Willo Pequegnat
  • B. R. Simon RosserEmail author
  • Anne M. Bowen
  • Sheana S. Bull
  • Ralph J. DiClemente
  • Walter O. Bockting
  • Jonathan Elford
  • Martin Fishbein
  • Laura Gurak
  • Keith Horvath
  • Joseph Konstan
  • Seth M. Noar
  • Michael W. Ross
  • Lorraine Sherr
  • David Spiegel
  • Rick Zimmerman
Review Paper


The aim of this paper is to advance rigorous Internet-based HIV/STD Prevention quantitative research by providing guidance to fellow researchers, faculty supervising graduates, human subjects’ committees, and review groups about some of the most common and challenging questions about Internet-based HIV prevention quantitative research. The authors represent several research groups who have gained experience conducting some of the first Internet-based HIV/STD prevention quantitative surveys in the US and elsewhere. Sixteen questions specific to Internet-based HIV prevention survey research are identified. To aid rigorous development and review of applications, these questions are organized around six common criteria used in federal review groups in the US: significance, innovation, approach (broken down further by research design, formative development, procedures, sampling considerations, and data collection); investigator, environment and human subjects’ issues. Strategies promoting minority participant recruitment, minimizing attrition, validating participants, and compensating participants are discussed. Throughout, the implications on budget and realistic timetabling are identified.


HIV/STD prevention Internet methodology 



The conception, planning, and development of this article at every stage was the work of Willo Pequegnat, PhD, project officer at the National Institute of Mental Health. It was she who initially recognized the importance of bringing together some leading researchers in Internet-based HIV prevention survey research to identify common challenges, methods, and dilemmas facing the field. She then facilitated a number of meetings which ultimately resulted in this manuscript. In addition to Dr Pequegnat, we gratefully acknowledge other National Institutes of Health staff for supporting HIV/STD prevention Internet-based survey research and for assisting in the development of this article. We also wish to thank Dr Anne Marie Weber-Main at the University of Minnesota for her critical review of earlier manuscript drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willo Pequegnat
    • 1
  • B. R. Simon Rosser
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anne M. Bowen
    • 3
  • Sheana S. Bull
    • 4
  • Ralph J. DiClemente
    • 5
  • Walter O. Bockting
    • 6
  • Jonathan Elford
    • 7
  • Martin Fishbein
    • 8
  • Laura Gurak
    • 9
  • Keith Horvath
    • 2
  • Joseph Konstan
    • 10
  • Seth M. Noar
    • 11
  • Michael W. Ross
    • 12
  • Lorraine Sherr
    • 13
  • David Spiegel
    • 14
  • Rick Zimmerman
    • 11
  1. 1.Center for Mental Health Research on AIDSNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Epidemiology and Community HealthUniversity of Minnesota, School of Public HealthMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  4. 4.Colorado Health Outcomes ProgramUniversity of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA
  5. 5.Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health EducationEmory University School of Public HealthAtlantaUSA
  6. 6.Department of Family Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA
  7. 7.Institute of Health SciencesCity UniversityLondonUK
  8. 8.Annenberg Public Policy Center, Annenberg School for CommunicationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  9. 9.Department of Scientific and Technical Writing, College of Agriculture, Food Sciences and Environmental StudiesUniversity of MinnesotaSt PaulUSA
  10. 10.Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Institute of TechnologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  11. 11.Department of CommunicationUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  12. 12.Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, School of Public HealthUniversity of TexasHoustonUSA
  13. 13.Department of Primary Care and Population ScienceRFUCMS, University CollegeLondonUK
  14. 14.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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