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Anonymous longitudinal surveys

4 years 2 months ago #89129 by stevage
Hi all,
I'm evaluating survey platforms for a researcher in sexual health. The survey methodology he wants to use works like this:

1) Anyone can sign up to participate. (They're contacted by Facebook then word of mouth. Apparently typically participation rates are ~1000.)
2) People register, creating a username and password (typically initials plus something, I think). (Emails, if collected, would not be associated with accounts)
3) Participants fill out the survey.
4) Some time later, participants are mass contacted to participate again.
5) They log in using the previous credentials. (If they've forgotten their username/password, that's a problem.)
6) The questions they see this time are similar to previously, and they see their previous answers. That is, some questions are of the form "Previously, you answered X. What do you answer now?" (Ideally, the free text fields are pre-populated with their previous answers).
6a) To make life even more complicated, some questions are along the lines "Tell us about a person in your life. What's his/her name?", then the follow-up questions are like "Is person X still in your life" etc etc.
7) Repeat steps 4-6 several times (with appropriate attrition rate).
8) Researcher downloads all data, analyses it, writes an amazing paper.

I'm particularly concerned about step 6/6a. Can this be done? Is it best expressed as saving the questionnaire as a draft (at step 3), then "resuming" it at step 6?

Any comments much appreciated!

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4 years 2 months ago #90385 by pcmiss
I've done something similar in the past. We created a PHP script (with cronjob) that automatically moved tokens from Survey 1 into Survey 2 (so that people can use the same credentials multiple times).

We moved answers from Survey 1 into the token table of Survey 2 (using a separate script) and then used the attributes in the token table to repeat previous answers.

Is this what you're thinking about?

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4 years 1 month ago #91583 by stevage
Thanks for the pointer. For the moment, we'll just do it manually - this process will happen maybe once per month, so if it takes 30 minutes, it's not a big deal. (And it's easier if we can use LimeService rather than self-hosting.)

I've written up a very long, detailed, technical explanation of all the steps required here:

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