Steps validating questionnaire

During questionnaire development its mode of administration should be kept in mind, whether it will be self-administered or interview based and its design and flow should be planned accordingly. The language of questionnaires should be at the level of understanding of the participants.

It is essential to word the questions in a way that they can easily be understood by participant and should be according to their educational level and culture.

Making an individual question is a tedious task and validating this questionnaire is another challenge which at times is over looked.

Consideration should be given accordingly on whether the questionnaire will measure quantitative or qualitative data, and what would be its mode of administration.

Translation is not a mechanical work and should not be done on word to word bases across languages.

It is important to understand the local context, specific issues and cultural meanings which language carries.

Translation of a questionnaire is essential if an instrument is not available in a language understood by the target population.

The initial stage of translation is a source language questionnaire, from which translation in required language is done.

Valid questionnaire helps to collect better quality data with high comparability which reduces the effort and increase the credibility of data.Back translation helps in evaluating the quality of the translation.The source language is translated in another language and again translated back into the source language.A questionnaire could be structured, in which all the participants are asked same questions in the same way, this is usually interview based questionnaire format.The other type is unstructured questionnaire and questions may vary at the discretion of the interviewer.It is extremely important for a researcher to know the importance of a proper questionnaire and whether it measures what it is intended to measure.Composing of a questionnaire is always much more complex than expected and great attention is required to its flow, format and length.Questionnaire is one of the most important techniques to collect data.It is a common experience that many studies focus on similar objective and theme but have entirely different questionnaires.If a new questionnaire is to be developed, it should be pilot tested and validated in order to evaluate if it is measuring what it supposed to measure and is it doing it reliably.Wording of questions is very critical and should take into consideration; appropriateness of the content, level of sophistication of language, type and form, sequence and how is data sought from the respondents.

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