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Guidelines for Using Pretest Results

Historical Document

This document is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.



Qualitative research can be predictive, but it is not precise. Interpreting and applying the results of pretesting and materials review will require certain actions.

  • Give more weight to target audience and reviewers' responses that are within the context of their roles regarding the materials.
  • Temper their responses with your own professional judgment, while considering the lay public as respected equals with a right to the information.
  • Do not feel obligated to respond to every individual's every comment or complaint.
  • Remember that gatekeepers can block target audience access to print materials, so their opinions are important too.

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