Methods of validating a questionnaire


10-Mar-2015 09:03

This article therefore sets out to review the principles and methods of validity and reliability measurement tools used in social and health science researches.

To achieve the stated goal, the author reviewed currents articles (both print and online), scientific textbooks, lecture notes/presentations and health programme papers.

This is with a view to critically review current principles and methods of reliability and validity tests as they are applicable to questionnaire use in social and health researches.

Correspondence Address: Oladimeji Akeem Bolarinwa From the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin and University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin Nigeria Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None The importance of measuring the accuracy and consistency of research instruments (especially questionnaires) known as validity and reliability, respectively, have been documented in several studies, but their measure is not commonly carried out among health and social science researchers in developing countries.

This has been linked to the dearth of knowledge of these tests.

One of the most common tasks often encountered in social science research is ascertaining the validity and reliability of a measurement tool. As simple as this may seems, it is often omitted or just mentioned passively in the research proposal or report.

The researchers always wish to know if the measurement tool employed actually measures the intended research concept or construct (is it valid? ) or if the measurement tools used to quantify the variables provide stable or consistent responses (is it reliable? This has been adduced to the dearth of skills and knowledge of validity and reliability test analysis among social and health science researchers.

Niger Postgrad Med J [serial online] 2015 [cited 2016 Nov 9];5-201. 2015/22/4/195/173959 These can be observational, self-report, interview and record review.

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This is a review article which comprehensively explores and describes the validity and reliability of a research instrument (with special reference to questionnaire).

It further discusses various forms of validity and reliability tests with concise examples and finally explains various methods of analysing these tests with scientific principles guiding such analysis.

Keywords: Questionnaire, reliability, social and health, validity How to cite this URL: Bolarinwa OA.

Principles and methods of validity and reliability testing of questionnaires used in social and health science researches.

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From the author's personal observation among researchers in developing countries, most students and young researchers are not able to distinguish validity from reliability.

Likewise, they do not have the prerequisite to understand the principles that underline validity and reliability testing of a research measurement tool.