Handbook of Theory and Methods in Applied Health Research
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Handbook of Theory and Methods in Applied Health Research

Questions, Methods and Choices

Edited by Catherine Walshe and Sarah Brearley

This Handbook expertly instructs the reader on how to conduct applied health research across a number of disciplines. Particularly aimed at postgraduate health researchers and students of applied health research, it presents and explains a wide range of research designs and other contemporary issues in applied health research.
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Chapter 11: Designing and using quantitative health-care questionnaires and surveys

Jane Simpson and Ian Fletcher


Health surveys are important tools to assess the current health status of target populations in the wider community, potential risk factors and preventative behaviours. In addition, information can be collected on perceptions of quality of health care delivered to groups of interest. Health survey data are essential to many disciplines associated with health care; for example, medicine, public health, allied health professions and organizational psychology. Cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys are able to illustrate health status at particular moments in time and health trends across time. This chapter considers issues that are relevant to the design of health-care surveys, such as identifying the target population, the survey objectives, designing questionnaire items, and response modes. The importance of design in developing surveys that generate high-quality information to address the survey objectives cannot be underestimated, that is, identifying design issues after data have been collected is likely to be of little benefit.

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