The Behavioral Health and Survey Research (BHSR) Core is a shared resource that supports Duke Cancer Institute investigators who want to use state-of-the-science, evidence-based, behavioral, and epidemiological research methods for cancer-related research. It is led by Laura Fish, Ph.D., who has more than 25 years of experience conducting qualitative research, designing and implementing surveys, and developing interventions. Collectively, the staff provides unique expertise in behavioral science, epidemiology, qualitative research methods, survey, and intervention development.

Duke Cancer Institute members have priority access to Behavioral Health and Survey Research Core services.


Services and Fees

The Behavioral Health and Survey Research Core provides three essential services:

  • Qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Survey development
  • Intervention development

Behavioral Health and Survey Research Core has a fee-for-service model. Fees are set by the Duke University School of Medicine and updated annually. Please email Laura Fish for more information about services and fees.

Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis

  • Consult on the design of qualitative research plans/projects, including conceptual model development.
  • Design and conduct qualitative data collection, including focus groups, cognitive interviews, and in-depth interviews.
  • Assist with conducting think-aloud interviews where the research participant reviews a survey or educational materials and gives real-time feedback to the interviewer as they view the materials or think about the survey questions.
  • Consult on or conduct coding, analysis, and summary of qualitative data.

Survey Development

  • Consult on the design of quantitative survey design.
  • Identify appropriate measures for behavioral, psychological, and epidemiological constructs. The BHSRC staff has extensive experience in research and measurement of the health behavioral and psychological aspects of illness and quality of life.
  • Standardize surveys to increase efficiency and help investigators build databases and combine datasets across projects to answer a broad range of questions.
  • Once measures are selected, pretest surveys to ensure accuracy, clarity, and user-friendliness of questions and of response options.

Intervention Development

  • Consult on the process for intervention development, including formative research.
  • Support the design of intervention through intervention mapping, development of the conceptual framework, piloting, and refining, evaluating (or defining the problem), identifying modifiable factors to address, deciding on an intervention approach, and testing/adapting.
  • Assessment of intervention on criteria such as cultural appropriateness and readability.

Access Behavioral Health and Survey Research Core Services

Behavioral Health and Survey Research Core services and resources are available to all DCI members. Fill out the intake form to request information about this resource. Once the initial request is received, Dr. Fish or a Behavioral Health and Survey Research Core staff member will schedule an in-person or Zoom meeting with the requesting research team and appropriate personnel.

Behavioral Health and Survey Research Core Intake Form



  • Margaret Falkovic
  • Christina Makarushka
  • Heather Parnell
This page was reviewed on 09/23/2023