Surveys are one of the most frequently employed study designs in healthcare epidemiology research. Generally easier to undertake and less costly than many other study designs, surveys can be invaluable to gain insights into opinions and practices in large samples and may be descriptive and/or be used to test associations. In this context, qualitative research methods may complement this study design either at the survey development phase and/or at the interpretation/extension of results stage. This methods article focuses on key considerations for designing and deploying surveys in healthcare epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship, including identification of whether or not de novo survey development is necessary, ways to optimally lay out and display a survey, denominator measurement, discussion of biases to keep in mind particularly in research using surveys, and the role of qualitative research methods to complement surveys. We review examples of surveys in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship and review the pros and cons of methods used. A checklist is provided to help aid design and deployment of surveys in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship.
Authors: Nasia Safdar, Lilian M. Abbo, Mary Jo Knobloch, Susan K. Seo