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Design and development of objective questionnaires

Nirmalan PK. Design and development of objective questionnaires. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2021;33:139-41

Measurements are a fundamental concept in healthcare. Questionnaires are integral to healthcare research and provide healthcare practitioners with objective tools for measurement of several aspects of health care. Questionnaires are developed based on certain contexts and validated for further use in larger populations. The primary goal of questionnaires is to provide valid measures of underlying constructs. The use of inappropriate questionnaires or poorly designed questionnaires affects the quality of data collected and the validity of the study. In this manuscript, we describe issues related to the design and development of questionnaires. These include conceptualization of target constructs and development of item pools, the basic principles of writing the items, formats and derivative versions of questionnaires, and translations. In the second part of this series, we will describe the concepts and process for validation of questionnaires.

Keywords: Construct, measurement, questionnaire development, scale development, test

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Dr Praveen Nirmalan

Written by Dr Praveen Nirmalan

Dr. Nirmalan did his basic medical education from Thrissur, Kerala and followed it with a PG Diploma in Ophthalmology from Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai and a Vitreo-retinal Fellowship from Mumbai. Subsequently, he completed his MPH and a Public Health Ophthalmology Fellowship from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in the USA. He has led community-based and clinical research in some of the top eye care institutes of India and led a clinical research program at a top tier obstetric and neonate institute as well. He has experience chairing Ethics Committees and has helped with the setting up of Institutional Review Boards. Besides mentoring clinical faculty, he has mentored DNB and PhD students through their dissertation work and research methods.

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