Survey Research in Athletic Training: The Scientific Method of Development and Implementation

J Athl Train. 2002 Dec;37(4 Suppl):S174-S179.


OBJECTIVE: To provide a scientific method for the development, validation, and correct use of a survey tool. BACKGROUND: Many athletic trainers are becoming involved in research to benefit either their own situations or the larger profession of athletic training. One of the most common methods used to gain this necessary information is a survey, with either a questionnaire or an interview technique. Formal instruction in the development and implementation of surveys is essential to the success of the research. As with other forms of experimental research, it is important to validate and ensure the reliability of the instruments (ie, questionnaires) used for data collection. It is also important to survey an appropriate sample of the population to ensure the appropriateness of applying the findings to the larger population. Lastly, to ensure adequate return of data, specific techniques are suggested to enhance data collection and the ability to apply the findings to the larger population. DESCRIPTION: A review of the procedures used in the development and validation of a survey instrument is provided. Information on survey-item development is provided, including types of questions, formatting, planning for data analysis, and suggestions to ensure better data acquisition and analysis. ADVANTAGES: By following the suggested procedures in this article, athletic training researchers will be able to better collect and use survey data to enhance the profession of athletic training.