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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Data To Support Communications Usability Testing, as Used by the Food and Drug Administration

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Food and Drug Administration, HHS.




The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on a generic clearance to collect information that will provide tools to test the usability of FDA communications on specific topics and to assist in the development and modification of communication messages to promote public health and compliance with regulations.


Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by August 9, 2011.


Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All Start Printed Page 34084comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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Juanmanuel Vilela, Office of Information Management, Food and Drug Administration, 1350 Piccard Dr., PI50-400B, Rockville, MD 20850, 301-796-7651,

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Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Data To Support Communications Usability Testing, as Used by the Food and Drug Administration—(OMB Control Number 0910-NEW)

FDA plans to use the data collected under this generic clearance to inform its communications campaigns on a variety of topics related to products that the FDA regulates. FDA expects the data to help staff message developers achieve FDA communication objectives. FDA also plans to use the data to help tailor print, broadcast, and electronic media communications in order for them to have powerful and desired impacts on target audiences. The data will not be used for the purposes of making policy or regulatory decisions.

The information collected will serve two major purposes. First, as formative research it will provide the critical knowledge needed about target audiences. FDA must explore audiences' beliefs, perceptions, and decision-making processes on specific topics in order to meet the basic objectives of its risk communication campaigns. Such knowledge will provide the needed target audience understanding to design effective communication strategies, messages, and product labels. These communications will aim to improve public understanding of the risks and benefits of using various FDA-regulated products by providing users with a better context in which to place risk information more completely.

Second, as pretesting, it will give FDA some information about the potential effectiveness of messages and materials in reaching and successfully communicating with their intended audiences. Testing messages with a sample of the target audience will allow FDA to refine messages while still in the developmental stage. Respondents may be asked to give their reaction to the messages in person or online.

FDA's Centers and Offices will use this mechanism to test the usability of messages about FDA-regulated products for consumers, patients, industry representatives, or health care professionals. The data will not be used for the purposes of making policy or regulatory decisions.

FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden1

Survey typeNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentTotal annual responsesAverage burden per response (in hours)Total hours
In-Person Surveys7,50017,50017,500
Remote Online Surveys67,000167,00030/6033,500
Screener Only 150015005/6042
1 These participants take the screener (which will be compromised of Demographic and/or Introductory Question, Attachments 5 and 6) but are not selected for the full survey.

There will be two lengths of surveys conducted, depending on whether the survey is in person or remote and online. An in-person survey will last an average of 60 minutes and take place at an FDA computer or at a nongovernmental location; a remote survey will last approximately 30 minutes and take place at the participant's computer. These estimates were determined through analysis of times from previous usability surveys using similar questions, survey of usability professionals to ascertain average times for users to perform tasks, and a pilot survey of 10 internal users comprised of staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CDC contractors. Some remote surveys will take much less time. The majority of usability surveys conducted at CDC were done remotely; thus FDA estimates that in the future more surveys will be done remotely rather than in person.

Estimate of survey respondents was based on an estimate of the ideal number of usability surveys that FDA would conduct over a 3-year period. Factored in were initial surveys and subsequent followup surveys utilizing a satisfactory level of participants. Because FDA has not conducted these types of surveys at the level needed previously, it is anticipated that most of FDA's communications will require some sort of usability survey. Additionally, FDA anticipates conducting a number of important baseline surveys for its home Web page and other highly trafficked subsites in order to redesign these pages as part of FDA's priority to more effectively utilize its Web site.

Annually, FDA projects about 125 studies using the variety of test methods listed above. FDA is requesting this burden so as not to restrict the Agency's Start Printed Page 34085ability to gather information on public sentiment for its proposals in its regulatory and communications programs.

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Dated: June 1, 2011.

Leslie Kux,

Acting Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2011-14410 Filed 6-9-11; 8:45 am]