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Activity Number: 492
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Survey Research Methods Section
Abstract #320774 View Presentation
Title: Ranking Question Design and Data Analysis
Author(s): Chia-Ling Kuo* and Jessica Hoag
Companies: University of Connecticut Health Center and University of Connecticut Health Center
Keywords: Likert scale ; visual analogue scale ; barriers in medicine ; simulation-based

In medicine, surveys/questionnaires are common research tools to identify the most important barriers that physicians face to improve patient care. Typically, potential barriers are preselected by investigators and described in a question for participants to rank in order from most to least important. Problems may arise if not every barrier applies or if multiple barriers are equally ranked. The nature of this type of ranked data can complicate data analysis and the number of primary barriers ultimately selected is generally performed ad hoc. To overcome this issue, the question can be broken down into barrier-specific questions in Likert or visual analogue scale (VAS). These two scales are common in psychometric research, but the choice of appropriate statistical methods remains controversial based on the nature and scale of the data. In this paper, we compare the three question designs via simulations in order to identify primary factors. We focus our investigation on the differences in designs by the scale of data and truncation. We introduce a simulation-based method that accounts for correlation between ranks as well as ratings within subjects.

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