Optimal design for questionnaires in clinical trials: science or art?

Questionnaires are a valuable tool for gathering outcome data from patients enrolled in clinical trials. In a review published this week in Trials Dr Phil Edwards considers recent developments in the field of questionnaire design that may help investigators minimize bias, improve data completeness and maximize precision in estimating the effect of treatments.
Questionnaires in clinical trials: guidelines for optimal design and administration
Phil Edwards
Trials 2010, 11:2 (11 January 2010)
[Abstract] [Provisional PDF]

Investigators often rely upon principles of questionnaire development that are based predominately on expert opinion rather than empirical evidence. In this review, Edwards discusses how the growing body of evidence on questionnaire design can be applied to the successful use of questionnaires in clinical practice and whether further research can make questionnaire design less of an art, and more of a science.

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