2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/158217
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Was the question they were answering on the questionnaire?
Abstract:
Was the question they were answering on the questionnaire?
Conference Sponsor:Western Institute of Nursing
Conference Year:2001
Author:Mitchell, Ellen, PhD
P.I. Institution Name:University of Washington
Title:Research Assistant Professor
Contact Address:School of Nursing, PO Box 357262, Seattle, WA, 98195-7266, USA
Contact Telephone:206.543.8233
Qualitative questions can generate unexpected responses which provide methodological challenges. These challenges occur when researchers and research participants understand open-ended items in a questionnaire differently. Purpose. The purposes of this study were 1) to develop a coding scheme for an open-ended question about the benefits of moderate drinking and 2) to describe difficulties encountered when coding an emotional topic. Methods. The open-ended question 205 midlife women responded to was "Tell us your views about the benefits of moderate drinking." The question was included in the 1999 annual questionnaire of a longitudinal study. Using a modified grounded theory approach; tentative codes were assigned and were grouped into meaningful categories. These codes were then modified based on results of reliability testing with one of the co-investigators until a 92% inter-rater reliability was achieved. Results. The main categories were statements of positive benefits (12 codes of cognitive, emotional, physical and social benefits), no benefit (one code), negative effects (five codes of cognitive, emotional, physical and social effects), views given on drinking behavior (three codes of fear of loss of control over drinking, reducing intake to reduce family problems, and drinking behavior not influenced by information), and no views (one code). Within these five main categories were a total of 22 codes. The women's responses ranged from one to five codes. During coding of the open-ended answers, many women responded in ways that seemed tangential to the actual question and some responses were filled with emotion. This question elicited a range of emotional responses which diverged widely from the factually oriented answers expected. Conclusions. Coding and understanding these type of responses when obtained in a format that does not allow for face-to-face clarification presents challenges since this particular question could be interpreted as requesting personal or family behavioral information. Similarly, such questions may result in socially desirable responses that may not express respondents' actual knowledge, feelings or experiences. When including open-ended questions in a study, consideration of how they might be interpreted by respondents is important. It is also important to find out what the women thought the question meant. Some respondents may answer a question not actually on the questionnaire. We need to create a balance between refining a question to minimize the range of surprises and reducing the risk of losing valuable information when little is known about a topic. Qualitative data invite us to explore meanings and connections. Therefore, the quality of that data, and hence the outcome of a study, depend on our ability to frame our inquiry in ways meaningful to both ourselves and those who would engage us with their stories.
Repository Posting Date:
26-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
17-Oct-2011
Sponsors:
Western Institute of Nursing

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleWas the question they were answering on the questionnaire?en_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/158217-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Was the question they were answering on the questionnaire?</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Western Institute of Nursing</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">2001</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Mitchell, Ellen, PhD</td></tr><tr class="item-institute"><td class="label">P.I. Institution Name:</td><td class="value">University of Washington</td></tr><tr class="item-author-title"><td class="label">Title:</td><td class="value">Research Assistant Professor</td></tr><tr class="item-address"><td class="label">Contact Address:</td><td class="value">School of Nursing, PO Box 357262, Seattle, WA, 98195-7266, USA</td></tr><tr class="item-phone"><td class="label">Contact Telephone:</td><td class="value">206.543.8233</td></tr><tr class="item-email"><td class="label">Email:</td><td class="value">nellem@u.washington.edu</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">Qualitative questions can generate unexpected responses which provide methodological challenges. These challenges occur when researchers and research participants understand open-ended items in a questionnaire differently. Purpose. The purposes of this study were 1) to develop a coding scheme for an open-ended question about the benefits of moderate drinking and 2) to describe difficulties encountered when coding an emotional topic. Methods. The open-ended question 205 midlife women responded to was &quot;Tell us your views about the benefits of moderate drinking.&quot; The question was included in the 1999 annual questionnaire of a longitudinal study. Using a modified grounded theory approach; tentative codes were assigned and were grouped into meaningful categories. These codes were then modified based on results of reliability testing with one of the co-investigators until a 92% inter-rater reliability was achieved. Results. The main categories were statements of positive benefits (12 codes of cognitive, emotional, physical and social benefits), no benefit (one code), negative effects (five codes of cognitive, emotional, physical and social effects), views given on drinking behavior (three codes of fear of loss of control over drinking, reducing intake to reduce family problems, and drinking behavior not influenced by information), and no views (one code). Within these five main categories were a total of 22 codes. The women's responses ranged from one to five codes. During coding of the open-ended answers, many women responded in ways that seemed tangential to the actual question and some responses were filled with emotion. This question elicited a range of emotional responses which diverged widely from the factually oriented answers expected. Conclusions. Coding and understanding these type of responses when obtained in a format that does not allow for face-to-face clarification presents challenges since this particular question could be interpreted as requesting personal or family behavioral information. Similarly, such questions may result in socially desirable responses that may not express respondents' actual knowledge, feelings or experiences. When including open-ended questions in a study, consideration of how they might be interpreted by respondents is important. It is also important to find out what the women thought the question meant. Some respondents may answer a question not actually on the questionnaire. We need to create a balance between refining a question to minimize the range of surprises and reducing the risk of losing valuable information when little is known about a topic. Qualitative data invite us to explore meanings and connections. Therefore, the quality of that data, and hence the outcome of a study, depend on our ability to frame our inquiry in ways meaningful to both ourselves and those who would engage us with their stories.</td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-26T20:37:37Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-17en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-26T20:37:37Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipWestern Institute of Nursingen_GB
All Items in this repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.