Advantages and disadvantages of survey research methods pdf

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advantages and disadvantages of survey research methods pdf

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Survey research, as with all methods of data collection, comes with both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers employing survey methods to collect data enjoy a number of benefits. First, surveys are an excellent way to gather lots of information from many people.

20 Advantages and Disadvantages of Survey Research

Questionnaires are a very useful survey tool that allow large populations to be assessed with relative ease. Despite a widespread perception that surveys are easy to conduct, in order to yield meaningful results, a survey needs extensive planning, time and effort. In this article, we aim to cover the main aspects of designing, implementing and analysing a survey as well as focusing on techniques that would improve response rates.

Medical research questionnaires or surveys are vital tools used to gather information on individual perspectives in a large cohort. Within the medical realm, there are three main types of survey: epidemiological surveys, surveys on attitudes to a health service or intervention and questionnaires assessing knowledge on a particular issue or topic. The first and most important step in designing a survey is to have a clear idea of what you are looking for. It will always be tempting to take a blanket approach and ask as many questions as possible in the hope of getting as much information as possible.

This type of approach does not work as asking too many irrelevant or incoherent questions reduces the response rate 2 and therefore reduces the power of the study.

This is especially important when surveying physicians as they often have a lower response rate than the rest of the population. After considering the question you are trying to answer, deciding whom you are going to ask is the next step.

With small populations, attempting to survey them all is manageable but as your population gets bigger, a sample must be taken. The size of this sample is more important than you might expect. After lost questionnaires, non-responders and improper answers are taken into account, this sample must still be big enough to be representative of the entire population. If it is not big enough, the power of your statistics will drop and you may not get any meaningful answers at all.

It is for this reason that getting a statistician involved in your study early on is absolutely crucial. Data should not be collected until you know what you are going to do with them.

After settling on your research goal and beginning to design a questionnaire, the main considerations are the method of data collection, the survey instrument and the type of question you are going to ask. Methods of data collection include personal interviews, telephone, postal or electronic Table 1. Collected data are only useful if they convey information accurately and consistently about the topic in which you are interested.

This is where a validated survey instrument comes in to the questionnaire design. Validated instruments are those that have been extensively tested and are correctly calibrated to their target. They can therefore be assumed to be accurate.

The next step is choosing the type of question you are going to ask. The questionnaire should be designed to answer the question you want answered. Each question should be clear, concise and without bias. Normalising statements should be included and the language level targeted towards those at the lowest educational level in your cohort.

Open responses are more flexible but require more time and effort to analyse, whereas closed responses require more initial input in order to exhaust all possible options but are easier to analyse and present.

Two more aspects come into questionnaire design: aesthetics and question order. While this is not relevant to telephone or personal questionnaires, in self-administered surveys the aesthetics of the questionnaire are crucial. Having spent a large amount of time fine-tuning your questions, presenting them in such a way as to maximise response rates is pivotal to obtaining good results.

Visual elements to think of include smooth, simple and symmetrical shapes, soft colours and repetition of visual elements. To do this you should focus on what you need to know; start by placing easier, important questions at the beginning, group common themes in the middle and keep questions on demographics to near the end.

The questions should be arrayed in a logical order, questions on the same topic close together and with sensible sections if long enough to warrant them. Introductory and summary questions to mark the start and end of the survey are also helpful. Once a completed survey has been compiled, it needs to be tested. The ideal next step should highlight spelling errors, ambiguous questions and anything else that impairs completion of the questionnaire.

Where possible, being present while the pilot is going on will allow a focus group-type atmosphere in which you can discuss aspects of the survey with those who are going to be filling it in. While it should be considered quite early on, we will now discuss routes of survey administration and ways to maximise results.

Questionnaires can be self-administered electronically or by post, or administered by a researcher by telephone or in person. The advantages and disadvantages of each method are summarised in Table 1. Telephone and personal surveys are very time and resource consuming whereas postal and electronic surveys suffer from low response rates and response bias.

Your route should be chosen with care. Methods for maximising response rates for self-administered surveys are listed in Table 2 , taken from a Cochrane review. Methods for improving response rates in postal and electronic questionnaires 2.

The collected data will come in a number of forms depending on the method of collection. Data from telephone or personal interviews can be directly entered into a computer database whereas postal data can be entered at a later stage. Electronic questionnaires can allow responses to go directly into a computer database. Problems arise from errors in data entry and when questionnaires are returned with missing data fields. As mentioned earlier, it is essential to have a statistician involved from the beginning for help with data analysis.

He or she will have helped to determine the sample size required to ensure your study has enough power. Survey research is a unique way of gathering information from a large cohort.

Advantages of surveys include having a large population and therefore a greater statistical power, the ability to gather large amounts of information and having the availability of validated models. However, surveys are costly, there is sometimes discrepancy in recall accuracy and the validity of a survey depends on the response rate.

Proper design is vital to enable analysis of results and pilot studies are critical to this process. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. Published online Jan. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. Accepted Nov 5. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Questionnaires are a very useful survey tool that allow large populations to be assessed with relative ease. Clear research goal The first and most important step in designing a survey is to have a clear idea of what you are looking for.

Directed questions After settling on your research goal and beginning to design a questionnaire, the main considerations are the method of data collection, the survey instrument and the type of question you are going to ask.

Table 1 Advantages and disadvantages of survey methods. Open in a separate window. Questionnaire Two more aspects come into questionnaire design: aesthetics and question order. Pilot study Once a completed survey has been compiled, it needs to be tested. Distribution and collection While it should be considered quite early on, we will now discuss routes of survey administration and ways to maximise results. Table 2 Methods for improving response rates in postal and electronic questionnaires 2.

Key points — Involve a statistician early on. Analysis The collected data will come in a number of forms depending on the method of collection. Conclusions Survey research is a unique way of gathering information from a large cohort.

References 1. Alderman AK, Salem B. Survey research. Plast Reconstr Surg ; : 1,—1, [ Google Scholar ]. Martin BC. The measurement of pessimism: the hopelessness scale. Does visual appeal matter? Effects of web survey aesthetics on survey quality. Surv Res Methods ; 4 : 43—59 [ Google Scholar ]. The importance of pilot studies. Social Research Update ; 35 [ Google Scholar ]. Support Center Support Center.

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10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaires

Among the different methods of data gathering for research purposes, the survey method is preferred by many researchers due to its various advantages, strengths and benefits. However, surveys also have their disadvantages and weak points that must be considered. Surveys provide a high level of general capability in representing a large population. Due to the usual huge number of people who answers survey, the data being gathered possess a better description of the relative characteristics of the general population involved in the study. As compared to other methods of data gathering, surveys are able to extract data that are near to the exact attributes of the larger population. When conducting surveys, you only need to pay for the production of survey questionnaires.


However, surveys have several advantages and disadvantages. Many researchers are tempted to do much of their data collection online; however, to reach using more traditional methods such as paper surveys or face-to-face interviews.


A quick guide to survey research

Survey research is a critical component of measurement and applied social research. It is a broad area that encompasses many procedures that involve asking questions to specific respondents. A survey can be anything from a short feedback form to intensive, in-depth interviews that attempt to gather specific data about situations, events, or circumstances. Although there are several methods of application that researchers can apply using this tool, you can divide surveys into two generic categories: interviews and questionnaires. Innovations in this area in recent years allow for advanced software solutions to provide more data to researchers because of the availability of online and mobile surveys.

Questionnaires are a very useful survey tool that allow large populations to be assessed with relative ease. Despite a widespread perception that surveys are easy to conduct, in order to yield meaningful results, a survey needs extensive planning, time and effort. In this article, we aim to cover the main aspects of designing, implementing and analysing a survey as well as focusing on techniques that would improve response rates. Medical research questionnaires or surveys are vital tools used to gather information on individual perspectives in a large cohort. Within the medical realm, there are three main types of survey: epidemiological surveys, surveys on attitudes to a health service or intervention and questionnaires assessing knowledge on a particular issue or topic.

11.2 Strengths and weaknesses of survey research

Advantages and Disadvantages of Surveys

Survey research is quickly becoming the number one tool that market researchers use to gather data. The advent of online survey tools has led to widespread use of quantitative surveys in order to collect, analyze, and use data that can contribute to a more effective business model, better marketing strategies, improved customer service and more. Survey research methods have been shown time and time again to benefit market researchers and improve ROI. Yet depending on the type of research you are doing, survey research may not be as appropriate.

Have you ever wondered if conducting a questionnaire is a viable option for your research? In this article, we will focus on the one we know best: questionnaires. As with every research method, there are pros and cons. Get ready to discover the 10 biggest advantages like cost efficiency, scalability and quick results. But also disadvantages such as respondents with their own agenda and a possible lack of personalization. We define a questionnaire as an instrument for collecting data, which almost always involves asking a given subject to respond to a set of oral or written questions. A survey is a process of gathering data that could involve a wide variety of data collection methods, including a questionnaire.


characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of survey research method is an inappropriate tool for the study of multitude Survey research second edition.


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  • Pdf of the selection by kiera cass pdf of the selection by kiera cass Romaine L. - 03.06.2021 at 10:01
  • Survey research, as with all methods of data collection, comes with both strengths and weaknesses. Laurencia S. - 05.06.2021 at 03:45
  • Advantages and disadvantages of survey methods. Survey type. Advantages. Disadvantages. Mail. • Easy and cost efficient. • Response rates are typically low. Anouk U. - 10.06.2021 at 20:44

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