“Preventing Chronic Diseases” by Choi and Pak

The article “A catalog of biases in questionnaires” by Choi and Pak presents an argument on the importance of avoiding bias while designing questionnaires for the patients which appears to be very important for the results of medical examinations. The article discusses the results of investigations conducted within different medical establishments with the purpose of identifying all the possible forms of bias in questionnaires including bias in the way of designing questions, in the way of designing the questionnaire itself, and the way of administrating the questionnaire. The specialists conducting researches found 48 types of bias in questionnaires.

In their article, Choi and Pak resort to the use of the reviewing study design.

The findings of the article are based on reviewing medical literature on this issue. In general, twenty nine different sources by different specialists on medicine are reviewed in this article in order to develop simple and convenient strategy on excluding all the forms of bias from medical questionnaires. These sources belong to different periods of time beginning form the first part of the twentieth century and ending with the first part of the twenty-first century which presents a considerable basis for conclusions in the area of questionnaire bias.

The authors of the article applied a number of research methods including literature reviews, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews. They checked different types of medical questionnaires applied in practice including personal interviews, mailed questionnaires, telephone interviews, routine data and registries, surveys on the Internet, focus groups, and surveillance systems. Such considerable area of research enabled the authors of the article to understand the main peculiarities of any kind of questionnaires which is important for avoiding bias indicative for particular type of questionnaire.

The results of the researches described in the article can be interpreted as highly convincing. Avoiding typical bias in medical questionnaires is very important for collecting consistent data needed in improving the health care system of the country which is also supported by the findings of the other authors (Mcglynn, Damberg, Ker & Brook, 1998). Among the most significant problems found by the researches in medical questionnaires are ambiguous questions, complex and lengthy questions, questions that are made up of two or more questions, sensitive questions, technical jargon, uncommon and difficult words, and vague words (Choi & Pak, 2005). The other significant problems are connected to the design of the questionnaire itself and the administrating techniques for its use. For example, some difficulties may be presented by the format such as horizontal format which makes it difficult to see the whole concept of the questionnaire. The other problem is too long questionnaires which make it very difficult for the respondents to concentrate and provide the conductor of the research with reliable data.

Concluding on all the above-discussed information, it should be stated that the article “A catalog of biases in questionnaires” by Bernard Choi and Anita Pak offers a well thought-of argument on the importance of avoiding different types of bias in medical questionnaires. The findings of the article’s research present trustworthy facts supporting the importance of avoiding such irrelevant questionnaire techniques as using technical jargon, ambiguous questions, complex and lengthy questions, questions that are made up of two or more questions, sensitive questions, uncommon and difficult words, and vague words, and making too long questionnaires.

References

Choi, B. C. K., & Pak, A. W. P. (2005). A catalog of biases in questionnaires. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2(1), 1-13.

Mcglynn, E. A., Damberg, C. L., Ker, E. A., & Brook, R. H. (1998). Health Information Systems: Design Issues and Analytic Applications. Santa Monica, CA: Rand.