It's the way you ask that matters: comparison of data relating to prevalence of incontinence aid use from two surveys of people with multiple sclerosis

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. Jan-Feb 2006;33(1):26-9. doi: 10.1097/00152192-200601000-00003.


The method used for data collection and research affects the outcomes and must be carefully considered when planning studies and when evaluating study results. This article presents the profound differences in outcomes generated by anonymous questionnaire vs face-to-face interviews. In this limited study regarding the use of incontinence aids among individuals with multiple sclerosis, the prevalence rates generated by questionnaire were 3 times the rates generated by interviews. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are addressed, and implications for research and for practice are identified.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Bias
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / standards*
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design / standards
  • Self-Help Devices / psychology
  • Self-Help Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Shame
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Urinary Incontinence / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence / prevention & control*