Logo: Survey and Data Management Core

Survey data collection protocols and sample frames

Research design and protocol development

Identifying the optimal strategy for collecting data from patients, families, and other informants can be challenging, with options ranging from quantitative techniques like web-based surveys, face-to-face interviews, mail surveys, or telephone interviews to qualitative approaches such as focus groups or one-on-one interviews. Core staff members can explore these options with you, recommend the latest evidence-based data collection solutions, and help identify the optimal strategy for achieving your scientific objectives.

Sample selection

The Core assists investigators in identifying, developing, and managing sample frames; accessing accurate and representative lists; and verifying and cleaning list data. SDMC staff draw on their extensive experience working with community, patient, and physician populations to advise investigators on sample size and expected response rates for particular survey topics and target sample populations.

Case identification, rapid case identification

Through review of pathology and other clinical reports, SDMC staff can identify potential subjects at Eastern Massachusetts hospitals that are eligible for IRB-approved survey and other studies. Case identification can be accomplished shortly after diagnosis, thus providing rapid case identification for studies needing access to study subjects within this time-frame.

Identifying incentives

The right incentive can have a substantial effect on survey response rates. SDMC staff provide evidence-based guidance to investigators to explore a range of methods and amounts and identify which is optimal for each situation.