Guidelines for constructing a survey

Fam Med. 2002 Apr;34(4):281-6.


Many researchers in family medicine use surveys to gather data from colleagues, learners, and patients on their demographics, personal histories, knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes. Well-written surveys are easy for respondents to complete, gather information accurately and consistently, and obtain data that can be analyzed to answer research questions. All levels of family medicine researchers can follow eight steps to develop surveys that produce useful and publishable results: (1) state the problem or need, (2) plan the project, (3) state the research question, (4) review the literature, (5) develop or adapt existing survey items, (6) construct the survey, (7) conduct pilot tests, and (8) administer the survey. After completing this article, readers should be able to (1) state the appropriate uses of survey instruments as research tools and (2) construct and administer a well-designed survey instrument.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection*
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Research Design*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires