Good research starts with a good idea and then deciding on how to carry out that idea. Finding a survey or measurement tool can be tedious and difficult, but it has to be the right fit. Measurement tools that are validated and reliable can be found in some journal articles, while others may need to come directly from the individual who created and used it. In some cases, a measurement tool will need to be developed to address the question under study. There are a number of excellent resources on the web, including two that have been created at Case Western Reserve University.
Case Western Reserve University Primary Care Core Facility Instrument Database
The mission of the Primary Care Core Facility is to support clinical, prevention and other primary care research. The Primary Care Core website provides an online catalog of instruments commonly used in primary care research and can assist in identifying existing measures, or if needed, developing new instruments to fit an investigator's research project or population. Available at: http://primarycarecore.org.
Case Western Reserve University Behavioral Measures Core Facility Instrument Database
Similar to the Primary Care Core Facility database, but with more of a focus on behavioral issues.
In community engagement projects, it is important to involve the community you wish to study from the very inception of your project. \x93Collaborating with local people in all aspects of the research process can build community confidence and trust, improve internal study validity, and facilitate the use of study results to improve community health\x94.1 It will appeal more to your desired community when you consider the community\x92s input and guidance in the development of your project. Available at: http://behavioralmc.org.
A third resource is provided by the Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative. REDCap Survey is a powerful tool for building and managing online surveys. It is provided at no-cost for research use.
Some examples of surveys:
A Community Needs Assessment Guide: A Brief Guide on How to Conduct a Needs Assessment.
http://www.luc.edu/curl/pdfs/A_Community_Needs_Assessment_Guide_.pdf [Accessed January 7, 2009.]
Sharma A, Lanum M, Suarez-Balcazar Y. A Community Needs Assessment Guide.
Loyola University Center for Urban Research and Learning and the Department of Psychology. 2000.
Surveying Community Needs and Priorities: A Community Needs Assessment Tool Kit
http://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/14/45/c1.pdf [Accessed January 7, 2009.]
Gessaman PH. Surveying Community Needs and Priorities: A Community Needs Assessment Tool Kit. 1993.
A Strength-Based Approach to Community Assessment: Pilot Project Report and Toolkit.
http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/uploads/Ai Pilot Toolkit Version 1.pdf [Accessed January 9, 2009.]
Brown B, Gebhardt J, Kish S. Appreciative Inquiry Commons 2004.
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