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Survey Research and Questionnaires

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❶Questionnaires may be in paper form and mailed to participants, delivered in an electronic format via email or an Internet-based program such as SurveyMonkey, or a combination of both, giving the participant the option to choose which method is preferred Ponto et al. A large random sample increases the likelihood that the responses from the sample will accurately reflect the entire population.

Interviews

SURVEY RESEARCH
According to Instrumentation
Questionnaires

The sample will ideally include individuals who reflect the intended population in terms of all characteristics of the population e. As discussed by Mady Stovall beginning on page , Fujimori et al.

The authors obtained a sample of oncologists from two hospitals in Japan. These participants may or may not have similar characteristics to all oncologists in Japan. Participant recruitment strategies can affect the adequacy and representativeness of the sample obtained. Using diverse recruitment strategies can help improve the size of the sample and help ensure adequate coverage of the intended population.

For example, if a survey researcher intends to obtain a sample of individuals with breast cancer representative of all individuals with breast cancer in the United States, the researcher would want to use recruitment strategies that would recruit both women and men, individuals from rural and urban settings, individuals receiving and not receiving active treatment, and so on.

Because of the difficulty in obtaining samples representative of a large population, researchers may focus the population of interest to a subset of individuals e. Large census surveys require extremely large samples to adequately represent the characteristics of the population because they are intended to represent the entire population.

Survey research may use a variety of data collection methods with the most common being questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires may be self-administered or administered by a professional, may be administered individually or in a group, and typically include a series of items reflecting the research aims. It is helpful to the reader when authors describe the contents of the survey questionnaire so that the reader can interpret and evaluate the potential for errors of validity e.

Helpful examples of articles that describe the survey instruments exist in the literature Buerhaus et al. Questionnaires may be in paper form and mailed to participants, delivered in an electronic format via email or an Internet-based program such as SurveyMonkey, or a combination of both, giving the participant the option to choose which method is preferred Ponto et al.

Using a combination of methods of survey administration can help to ensure better sample coverage i. For example, if a researcher were to only use an Internet-delivered questionnaire, individuals without access to a computer would be excluded from participation. Improving the visual appeal and graphics of surveys by using a font size appropriate for the respondents, ordering items logically without creating unintended response bias, and arranging items clearly on each page can increase the response rate to electronic questionnaires.

Attending to these and other issues in electronic questionnaires can help reduce measurement error i. Conducting interviews is another approach to data collection used in survey research. Interviews may be conducted by phone, computer, or in person and have the benefit of visually identifying the nonverbal response s of the interviewee and subsequently being able to clarify the intended question. Interviews can be costly and time intensive, and therefore are relatively impractical for large samples.

Some authors advocate for using mixed methods for survey research when no one method is adequate to address the planned research aims, to reduce the potential for measurement and non-response error, and to better tailor the study methods to the intended sample Dillman et al. Mixed methods might also be used when visual or auditory deficits preclude an individual from completing a questionnaire or participating in an interview.

A sample of 30 oncologists from two hospitals was obtained and though the authors provided a power analysis concluding an adequate number of oncologist participants to detect differences between baseline and follow-up scores, the conclusions of the study may not be generalizable to a broader population of oncologists.

Oncologists were randomized to either an intervention group i. Self-report numeric ratings were used to measure oncologist confidence and patient distress, satisfaction, and trust. Oncologist confidence was measured using two instruments each using point Likert rating scales. Patient satisfaction and trust were measured using 0 to 10 numeric rating scales. Numeric observer ratings were used to measure oncologist performance of communication skills based on a videotaped interaction with a standardized patient.

Participants completed the same questionnaires at baseline and follow-up. The authors clearly describe what data were collected from all participants. Providing additional information about the manner in which questionnaires were distributed i.

The authors describe conducting a follow-up phone call or mail inquiry for nonresponders, using the Dillman et al. Survey research is a useful and legitimate approach to research that has clear benefits in helping to describe and explore variables and constructs of interest.

Survey research, like all research, has the potential for a variety of sources of error, but several strategies exist to reduce the potential for error. Advanced practitioners aware of the potential sources of error and strategies to improve survey research can better determine how and whether the conclusions from a survey research study apply to practice.

The author has no potential conflicts of interest to disclose. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Adv Pract Oncol. Survey methodology as a scientific field seeks to identify principles about the sample design, data collection instruments, statistical adjustment of data, and data processing, and final data analysis that can create systematic and random survey errors.

Survey errors are sometimes analyzed in connection with survey cost. Cost constraints are sometimes framed as improving quality within cost constraints, or alternatively, reducing costs for a fixed level of quality. Survey methodology is both a scientific field and a profession, meaning that some professionals in the field focus on survey errors empirically and others design surveys to reduce them. For survey designers, the task involves making a large set of decisions about thousands of individual features of a survey in order to improve it.

The most important methodological challenges of a survey methodologist include making decisions on how to: The sample is chosen from the sampling frame, which consists of a list of all members of the population of interest.

This generalizing ability is dependent on the representativeness of the sample, as stated above. Each member of the population is termed an element.

There are frequent difficulties one encounters while choosing a representative sample. One common error that results is selection bias. Selection bias results when the procedures used to select a sample result in over representation or under representation of some significant aspect of the population. In order to minimize selection biases, stratified random sampling is often used.

This is when the population is divided into sub-populations called strata, and random samples are drawn from each of the strata, or elements are drawn for the sample on a proportional basis. There are several ways of administering a survey. The choice between administration modes is influenced by several factors, including. Different methods create mode effects that change how respondents answer, and different methods have different advantages.

The most common modes of administration can be summarized as: There are several different designs, or overall structures, that can be used in survey research. The three general types are cross-sectional, successive independent samples, and longitudinal studies. In cross-sectional studies, a sample or samples is drawn from the relevant population and studied once. A successive independent samples design draws multiple random samples from a population at one or more times.

Such studies cannot, therefore, identify the causes of change over time necessarily. For successive independent samples designs to be effective, the samples must be drawn from the same population, and must be equally representative of it.

If the samples are not comparable, the changes between samples may be due to demographic characteristics rather than time. In addition, the questions must be asked in the same way so that responses can be compared directly. Longitudinal studies take measure of the same random sample at multiple time points.

Longitudinal studies are the easiest way to assess the effect of a naturally occurring event, such as divorce that cannot be tested experimentally. However, longitudinal studies are both expensive and difficult to do. This attrition of participants is not random, so samples can become less representative with successive assessments. To account for this, a researcher can compare the respondents who left the survey to those that did not, to see if they are statistically different populations.

Respondents may also try to be self-consistent in spite of changes to survey answers. Questionnaires are the most commonly used tool in survey research. However, the results of a particular survey are worthless if the questionnaire is written inadequately.

A variable category that is often measured in survey research are demographic variables, which are used to depict the characteristics of the people surveyed in the sample. Reliable measures of self-report are defined by their consistency. It is important to note that there is evidence to suggest that self-report measures tend to be less accurate and reliable than alternative methods of assessing data e. Six steps can be employed to construct a questionnaire that will produce reliable and valid results.

The way that a question is phrased can have a large impact on how a research participant will answer the question. A respondent's answer to an open-ended question can be coded into a response scale afterwards, [5] or analysed using more qualitative methods. Survey researchers should carefully construct the order of questions in a questionnaire.

The following ways have been recommended for reducing nonresponse [7] in telephone and face-to-face surveys: Brevity is also often cited as increasing response rate. A literature review found mixed evidence to support this claim for both written and verbal surveys, concluding that other factors may often be more important. Survey methodologists have devoted much effort to determining the extent to which interviewee responses are affected by physical characteristics of the interviewer.

Main interviewer traits that have been demonstrated to influence survey responses are race, [13] gender, [14] and relative body weight BMI. Hence, race of interviewer has been shown to affect responses to measures regarding racial attitudes, [16] interviewer sex responses to questions involving gender issues, [17] and interviewer BMI answers to eating and dieting-related questions.

The explanation typically provided for interviewer effects is social desirability bias: Interviewer effects are one example survey response effects. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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The essence of survey method can be explained as “questioning individuals on a topic or topics and then describing their responses”.In business studies survey method of primary data collection is used in order to test concepts, reflect attitude of people, establish the level of customer satisfaction, conduct segmentation research and a set of other purposes.

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There is a third definition for survey. This third definition of survey is a specific type of survey research. Here are the three specific techniques of survey research: Questionnaires - a series of written questions a participant answers. This method gathers responses to questions that are essay or agree/neutral/disagree style.

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First, survey research is used to quantitatively describe specific aspects of a given population. These aspects often involve examining the relationships among variables. Second, the data required for survey research are collected from people and are, therefore, subjective. Finally, survey research uses a selected portion of the population from which the findings can later be generalized back to the . Survey research is one of the most important areas of measurement in applied social research. The broad area of survey research encompasses any measurement procedures that involve asking questions of respondents. A "survey" can be anything form a short paper-and-pencil feedback form to an intensive one-on-one in-depth interview.

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Survey Research Survey research is a commonly used method of collecting information about a population of interest. There are many different types of surveys, several ways to administer them, and many methods of sampling. Polls about public opinion, public-health surveys, market-research surveys, government surveys and censuses are all examples of quantitative research that use survey methodology to answer questions about a population. Although censuses do not include a "sample", they do include other aspects of survey methodology, like questionnaires, interviewers, and non-response follow-up techniques.