Lessons from Studies to Evaluate an Online 24-Hour Recall for Use with Children and Adults in Canada
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With technological innovation, comprehensive dietary intake data can be collected in a wide range of studies and settings. The Automated Self-Administered 24-hour (ASA24) Dietary Assessment Tool is a web-based system that guides respondents through 24-h recalls. The purpose of this paper is to describe lessons learned from five studies that assessed the feasibility and validity of ASA24 for capturing recall data among several population subgroups in Canada. These studies were conducted within a childcare setting (preschool children with reporting by parents), in public schools (children in grades 5-8; aged 10-13 years), and with community-based samples drawn from existing cohorts of adults and older adults. Themes emerged across studies regarding receptivity to completing ASA24, user experiences with the interface, and practical considerations for different populations. Overall, we found high acceptance of ASA24 among these diverse samples. However, the ASA24 interface was not intuitive for some participants, particularly young children and older adults. As well, technological challenges were encountered. These observations underscore the importance of piloting protocols using online tools, as well as consideration of the potential need for tailored resources to support study participants. Lessons gleaned can inform the effective use of technology-enabled dietary assessment tools in research.
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