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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Mary Utne O'Brien, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book, by leading survey research methodologists and HIV/AIDS researchers, seeks to present classic issues in survey research methods as they apply to the study of HIV/AIDS.
Purpose: The authors' goal is to provide timely guidance on research tools and issues in their application to beginning and advanced researchers and interventionists working in behavioral and psychosocial approaches to HIV/AIDS.
Audience: The stated target audience includes practitioners (interventionists) and beginning researchers, but individual chapters, especially by the survey research experts (e.g., Kalton on sampling, Kessler on designs), are dense with detail that will likely be only dimly perceived by neophyte researchers. Presented by an experienced researcher in a classroom context, however, the book would be excellent for graduate students in epidemiology (methods and/or HIV/AIDS), sociology, etc., and forexperienced researcher s new to applications in HIV/AIDS. It is not as useful as it might be for the much larger audience of consumers (not producers) of HIV/AIDS behavioral research, who must judge that vast majority of studies that do not meet the standards for research described here. It would have been helpful if the authors had described the particular considerations and caveats for specific violations of ideal research approaches.
Features: The contributors include the leading survey researchers and applied methodologists of the day, including Kalton on sampling, Kessler on design, and Loftus on memory. The chapter by Zeller on combining qualitative and quantitative methods is a model of methodological sophistication, good sense, and grounded examples, showing great knowledge of the HIV/AIDS research arena. Almost across-the-board, references are timely and on-target.
Assessment: This book's issues and their treatment are first-rate and important. The table of contents and index allow easy perusal and access to topics. It is visually appealing and written at a very high and clear level.