Abramson, J.H. (1992). Survey Methods in Community Medicine. NY: Churchilll. Good basic text on public health research methods.
Alreck, P.L., & Settle, R.B. (1995). The Survey Research Handbook. 2nd Edition. THE BEST COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY RESEARCH TEXT. Everything you ever wanted to know about conducting a survey. Excellent explanations about how to analyze what you've gathered, writing up and presenting your research to those who have sponsored it. An appendix is devoted to the art of conducting a focus group (the best I've seen) as a method of exploratory data gathering before actually doing a survey.
Babbie, E. (1990). Survey Research Methods. 2nd Edition CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. From Social Science's Research Guru, AKA "The Father of Social Research"'s first attempt at textbook writing has become a classic in and of itself. BEST OVERVIEW OF SOCIAL SURVEY RESEARCH. Babbie writes as if he loves what he's doing (a rarity), and will persuade you to conduct surveys that will be relevant because he takes the time to lay the proper foundation for grounding your efforts. A how-to with explanations. Great chapter on ethical research. All around great text for an excellent understanding of what survey research is about - its strengths and weaknesses, and its limitations in the perennial search for Truth. For greater coverage on the more hands-on aspect of survey research, check out Alreck & Settle's The Survey Research Handbook. 2nd Edition.
Dutka, A. (1993). AMA (American Marketing Association) Handbook for Customer Satisfaction. A Complete Guide to Research, Planning & Implementation. IL: NTC Business Books. In TQM - customer satisfaction is a primary factor to consider in continuous quality improvement. This book covers the how-tos in developing surveys to assess customer satisfaction. While it has a manufacturing/industry perspective, you get a good sense of TQM in its native environment, you can still learn something that can be applied to TQM in healthcare delivery as well as public health.
Firebaugh, G. (1997). Analyzing Repeated Data. (#115 of Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences Series). CA: Sage Publications. Discusses description, decomposition, explanation of aggregate trends, and assessment of changing individual parameters. Talks about the difference between repeated and panel surveys, and how to get the most out of each kind.
Fowler, Jr., F.J. (1995). Improving Survey Questions. CA: Sage Publications. A follow-up text to his 1993 text on survey research methods. A systematic overview of how to improve questions used to elicit information. Most useful advice - an information sheet summarizing what your research project is all about.
Fowler, Jr., F.J. (1993). Survey Research Methods. CA: Sage Publications. [THE BEST BASIC SURVEY RESEARCH TEXT] Covers everything you need to know about doing this kind of research. While comprehensive in scope, other texts as Alreck & Settle, and Salant & Dillman, and The Survey Kit cover the same topics in greater depth and are probably better from a how-to perspective. Nevertheless, chapters 9-11 covering topics such as ethical considerations, methodological documentation and survey error are a bonus since such areas are usually covered only in passing in other texts.
Hayes, B.E. (1992). Measuring Customer Satisfaction. Development and Use of Questionnaires. WS: ASQC Quality Press. A very good book about the basics of survey questionnaires, and how to analyze the results.
Litwin, M. S. (1995). How to Measure Survey Reliability and Validity. (#7 of Survey Kit Series). CA: Sage Publications. The science of psychometrics - determining the quality of a survey - is the focus of this how-to text in ensuring your survey will be excellent in every way, from coding, pilot-testing, scaling and scoring surveys to measuring reliability and validity.
Monheit,A.C., Wilson,R., Arnett,III,R.H. (editors) (1999). Informing American Health Care Policy. The Dynamics of Medical Expenditure and Insurance Surveys, 1977-1996. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. A thoughtful collection of historical essays that serve to document the development and utilization of surveys for policymaking. Really provides an inside look at how federal bureaucrats do their best to conduct survey research while dealing with the ever-changing tide of politics and uncertain funding. This book will definitely provide a good background as to why you can forget about ever getting any trend analyses done with health insurance data as it has been collected for close to a quarter of a century, and why the complexity of health insurance today is just begging for a one-payor solution that would streamline health services research that can be used for good policy making.
Patten, M. L. (1998). Questionnaire Research. CA: Pyrczak Publishing. A great simple textbook that covers all the basics, plus material not found anywhere else, like how to calculate margins of error, and very easy-to-understand explanations of statistical procedures you need to know to report research using surveys.
Salant, P., & Dillman, D.A. (1994). How to Conduct Your Own Survey. NY: John Wiley and Sons. The best book on how to conduct a survey: mail, telephone or face-to-face. Will take you step by step through each type of survey, giving you the pros and cons for each method, and what kinds of errors you should watch out for.
Stevens, L. N. (October 25, 1995). Decennial Census. Fundamental Design Decisions Merit Congressional Attention. General Accounting Office Testimony - GAO/T-GGD-96-37. How do you count everyone in the country? Obviously, the task is getting more and more costly not only because there are more people to count but because mail survey nonresponse tends to compromise the purpose of a "census." This document reports on some of the issues associated with how to handle nonresponse, from settling for truncation to how to best sample nonrespondents.
Suskie, L.A. (1996). Questionnaire Survey Research - What Works. 2nd Edition. A hands-on manual to conducting survey research, as told from the perspective of an academic institutional researcher. You can tell she has had a lot of experience. Most helpful for those who plan to do research in an academic environment.
US General Accounting Office (September 19, 1996). CDC's National Immunization Survey. Methodological problems limit survey's utility. GAO/PEMD-96-16. A look into dueling federal bureaucracies (GAO vs. CDC) over exactly how useful the results for a national public health survey really is for policy and planning. The CDC may know Public Health but the GAO has the methodologists, and it's always hard to argue with those who know what Research should accomplish. An excellent critique about using telephone surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of a public health intervention, namely, immunization. Survey research methodology remains an art to which statistical theory can still contribute something.
Weisberg, H.F., Krosnick, J.A., & Bowen, B.D. (1996). An Introduction to Survey Research, Polling, and Data Analysis. Third Edition. CA: Sage Publications. Written for the social scientist, and emphasizing polling more than academic survey research, this is still an excellent practical textbook about survey research. Good chapters on analyzing survey data, especially on the use of stratification to get the most of what you have collected.
WHAT IS A SURVEY SERIES (1995-) American Statistical Association/Section on Survey Research Methods. Each 12-page brochure provides a good overview of survey research methodology.
#1. What is a Survey.
#2. How to Plan A Survey.
#3. How to Collect Survey Data.
THE SURVEY KIT SERIES (1995) CA: Sage Publications. Overall, this is an excellent series for the serious survey researcher. All the books written by A. Fink are excellent in simplicity and understanding.
#1. Fink, A. The Survey Handbook. Covers what a survey as a research instrument is all about. Provides introductions to others books in this series. Good sections on how to analyze open-ended questions and how to develop a plan for conducting a survey, and what to consider in terms of costs and resources.
#2. Fink, A. How to Ask Survey Questions. - Did you know that surveys are used mainly to measure attitudes? Do you want categorical, ordinal or numerical data? How valid is your survey? How to ask questions that will get to the heart of the matter.
#3. Bourque, L.B., & Fielder, E.P. How to Conduct Self-Administered and Mail Surveys. Everything you need to know from developing the proper format and questions to processing, editing and coding the responses. Includes all the details surrounding the conduct of mail survey - personnel and cost requirements. Not as simply written as Fink's books, but worth the time you spend reading what they have to say about mail surveys.
#4. Frey, J.H., & Oishi, S.M. How to Conduct Interviews by Telephone and in Person. A good how-to about face-to-face and telephone interviews. From how to write interview questions to monitoring the quality of data collection, as well as developing a manual for training and conducting such sessions.
#5. Fink, A. How to Design Surveys. A must-read-first text if you are planning a survey. Are you planning a descriptive or experimental survey? Are you going to describe, compare, or predict? Provides a classification of survey designs, examples and checklists throughout.
#6. Fink, A. How to Sample in Surveys. How you pick your study sample will affect your ability to generalize. Offers simple explanations on calculating sample size, response rate, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and various methods of sampling (simple random, stratified, systematic, cluster, convenience, snowball, quota), and using focus groups.
#7. Litwin, M. S. How to Measure Survey Reliability and Validity. The science of psychometrics - determining the quality of a survey - is the focus of this how-to text in ensuring your survey will be excellent in every way, from coding, pilot-testing, scaling and scoring surveys to measuring reliability and validity.
#8. Fink, A. How to Analyze Survey Data. A simple how-to text on analyzing survey data, using various types of measurement scales (nominal, ordinal, numerical), choosing an appropriate statistical method, determining relationships or correlation. Excellent explanation of how to use confidence intervals.
#9. Fink, A. How to Report on Surveys. How to make the most of the data you've spent so hard collecting and analyzing. Shows the best way to present data in tabular and chart forms, how to make oral presentations of your results and how to say-what-mean and mean-what-you-found on paper.
PUBLISHED ON THE WEB: May 5, 2000; February 23, 2001
Updated: 6/9/2018 R107
© Copyright 1999 - 2018 Betty C. Jung