Published: 23-06-2021 09:56 | Updated: 17-09-2021 12:16

Workshop - Doctoral Programme in Health Care Science (PUF-V) Applied survey methodology – from design to analysis

When should a questionnaire be used for data collection? What are the steps included in the development of a questionnaire? What type of questions can be included in a questionnaire? How does one formulate effective questions? How does one design rating scales? How does one avoid common mistakes when developing a questionnaire?

Questionnaires are commonly used in research as a data collection tool and investigators have access to many validated instruments. However, there are often occasions when a researcher needs to adapt an already validated instrument to their specific contextual needs. Also, the field of research questions that need to be investigated is so broad nowadays that a researcher often needs to design and create a new instrument specifical ly for their needs. Designing a questionnaire involves many different steps and each of these steps affects the quality of the questionnaire and the data collected. To address the need for researchers to understand and practice what is needed to create their own questionnaire or adapting a validated instrument to their needs, we are proposing a series of workshops about questionnaire design:

Principles of questionnaire design - October 5, 2021

Short introductory lecture on the basic principles of questionnaire design and types of question andresponse formats:

  • Reviewing the most common question and response formats used in questionnaires, such asinterval rating, ordinal, categorical, open-ended.
  • Discussing when to design a new instrument and when to adapt an already validated instrumentto the researcher’s needs.
  • Addressing elements included in a questionnaire instrument.
  • Group exercise: Participants will be asked to construct a questionnaire based on a chosen theme/subject.
  • Presentation of the questionnaires created by each group and open peer discussion including feedbackon each questionnaire.

Common pitfalls in questionnaire design - October 14, 2021

Introduction on the common pitfalls in questionnaire design, addressing general principles andconcerns regarding question writing.

  • Group exercise 1: Examination of purposefully bad survey items.
  • Group exercise 2: Discussion and revision of participants ‘own or peers’ questionnaires developed during Workshop 1.
  • Discussion on the group exercise and presentations of suggestions/modifications from each group.

Both workshops require participant activity and interaction with most of the time dedicated to group work and open peer discussions.


Ejlertsson, G (2014). Enkäten I praktiken: en handbok I enkätmetodik. Studentlitteratur. Lund.
De Leeuw, E. D., Hox, J., Dillman, D. (2012) International Handbook of Survey Methodology. Routledge. New York.
Kline, R. B. (2009). Becoming a behavioral researcher. The Guilford Press. New York.

Workshop leaders

Zoe Säflund and Per Palmgren

Aim of the activity

The aim of these workshops is to familiarize participants with the subject of questionnaires as a data collection tool, focusing on how to construct a questionnaire that fulfills the researchers’ needs.

After the workshop, the participant is expected to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the questionnaire development process and the necessary steps in designing oradapting an instrument and how these steps influence quality.
  • Practical knowledge on writing questionnaire questions, choosing the appropriate question format andwhat mistakes to avoid when writing questions.
  • The general learning outcomes are to:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with research methodology in general and the methods of the specific field ofresearch in particular.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues with scholarly precision critically, autonomouslyand creatively, and to plan and use appropriate methods to undertake research and other qualifiedtasks within predetermined time frames and to review and evaluate such work.

Time: October 5 and 14  2021, from 09:00 to 12:00

Location: Online.

A Zoom invitation will be sent to registered participants shortly before the workshops.Registration:The workshops can be attended independently from one another and it is possible to register to one workshop only. The number of seats is limited to 25 participants per workshop; don’t wait to enrol! Doctoral students and postdocs at Karolinska Institute have priority of attendance.

Deadline for registration - extended to September 28, 2021.

Registrations to the workshop Principles of questionnaire design - October 5, 2021 are made here.

Registrations to the workshop Common pitfalls in questionnaire design - October 14, 2021 are made here.