Electronic Questionnaires Design and Implementation

Clara Minto1, Giulia Beltrame Vriz2, Matteo Martinato3, Dario Gregori1, *
1 Unit of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Public Health, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
2 Department of Obstetrics, Santa Chiara Hospital, Trento, Italy
3 University Hospital, Gastroenterology, Padova, Padova, Italy

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© 2017 Minto et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Unit of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Public Health, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, Via Loredan 18, 35121 Padova, Italy, Tel: +390498275384, Fax: +39 02 700445089; E-mail:



Nursing and health care research are increasingly using e-questionnaires and e-forms for data collection and survey conduction. The main reason lies in costs, time and data-entry errors containment, increased flexibility, functionality and usability. In spite of this growing usage, no specifc and comprehensive guidelines for designing and submitting e-questionnaires have been produced so far.


The aim of this review is to collect information on the current best practices, taking them from various fields of application. An evaluation of the efficacy of the single indication is provided.


A literature review of guidelines currently available on WebSM (Web Survey Methodology) about electronic questionnaire has been performed. Four search strings were used: “Electronic Questionnaire Design”, “Electronic Questionnaire”, “Online Questionnaire” and “Online survey”. Articles’ inclusion criteria were English language, relevant topic in relation to the aim of the research and the publication date from January 1998 to July 2014.


The review process led to identify 48 studies. The greater part of guidelines is reported for Web, and e-mail questionnaire, while a lack of indications emerges especially for app and e-questionnaires.


Lack of guidelines on e-questionnaires has been found, especially in health care research, increasing the risk of use of ineffective and expensive instruments; more research in this field is needed.

Keywords: Electronic questionnaires, Patients reported outcomes, App, Web survey design, Bias reduction techniques, Electronic tools.