Purpose: The purpose of this article is to describe data collection considerations, methods, and response rates for a survey available both online and on paper. Methodological issues in the design of online data collection, and advantages and disadvantages of different data collection methods are discussed. Method: A survey was compiled that included 9 full or partial clinical questionnaires designed to measure different components relevant to tinnitus distress. It was completed once by 342 members of the public with tinnitus. Respondents could choose whether to complete the survey online or on paper. Results: Ninety-five percent of participants chose to complete the survey online. The advantages of an online self-administered questionnaire include low numbers of unanswered questions, convenience (particularly in a longer survey such as this), a fast return rate, and reduced expense. Age emerged as an important variable, with those opting to complete the paper-based version of the survey being older. Conclusions: Online data collection has several advantages to both participants and researchers. However, cross-sectional studies such as that presented here should also offer paper questionnaires to avoid excluding certain subgroups of the population. Ethics and reporting guidelines for Internet-delivered questionnaire studies are available. These can usefully inform study design and guide high-quality reporting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing