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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Survey Research
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Health surveys are based on probability samples of defined populations.

Interviewers who are not care givers approach households, providers or patients and compile information using a structured protocol.
  • An advantage of this procedure is that it collects information that can be projected to estimate the conditions, care and results for a defined population.
    • Surveys use the same protocol for each member of the sample—thereby improving the validity of comparisons.
  • A disadvantage is that the structured protocol may not allow interviewers to compile the full array of information needed to replicate the actual diagnoses or treatment records obtained from clinical observations.
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