Conducting a survey
Wai-Ching Leung explains how to conduct a good survey
Most medical students carry out at least one project involving a survey in either a core module - for example, in public health or primary care - or a special study module. The survey methodology is popular among students for two reasons. Firstly, it seems familiar and easy to do. Most students have taken part in either an interview or questionnaire survey, and many have conducted a survey in their secondary school days. Secondly, people are interesting, and the survey is a useful tool to gather a wide range of information about them. It can be used for a range of disciplines, such as medical or health studies, business studies, education, biology, and sociology.
It is indeed easy to administer questionnaires and carry out interviews. However, there are so many potential pitfalls in conducting a survey that few of them produce valid and meaningful results. The purpose of this article