Survey Methods

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The Survey Methods Core (SMC) assists with selecting and/or designing survey data collection instruments and procedures.

The SMC assists with:

  • All phases of survey process, including testing recall, comprehension and alternative wording for survey instruments
  • Assessing various interviewing techniques and respondent incentives
  • Comparing data collection modalities.
  • The selection of published instruments and the development of new, study-specific measures.

 The Core also provides assistance and expertise in: 

  • Cognitive interviewing, including focus groups, think-aloud sessions, and other methods used to study respondent and interviewer reactions to survey questions, response categories, and procedures.
  • Producing completed survey forms and their electronic processing.

 The SMC provides the following services:

Consultation on: 

  • Study design of survey methods
  • Selection of specific survey measures,
  • Selection of format and scheduling of survey administration, and sampling strategies for survey research.
  • Information about the scoring, analysis, and interpretation of survey measures commonly used in cancer research.
  • Advice and consultation on qualitative research techniques
  • Developing interview and focus group guides, recruiting, data analysis,
  • Grant and publication writing of qualitative results.

Survey Pretesting

  • Pretesting is conducted using the Questionnaire Appraisal System developed by the Behavioral Surveillance Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Investigators are provided with tools and with tips for obtaining subjects for pretesting as well as the development of a protocol for pretesting. Actual pretesting is performed by the investigator. 

Survey Production and Processing

The Core: 

  • Transforms printed surveys into forms that can be read by an optical scanner using Teleform by Verity software, a high-accuracy content capture system for automatically processing paper-based forms and document content
  • Provides four computer workstations networked to two scanners equipped with the Teleform licenses to operate the four modules that make up the application
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