Re: Questions about questionnaires...


Hi John,

I find it amazing that so-called "confidential" questionnaires that come my way often have an identification code discretely plastered on the envelope, the questionnaire, or in bar code form.  I mean, really, who in the heck is going to divulge their most private sexual or drug history with that kind of possible retribution?  The aids service organizations are really good at that one...  "please confidentially tell us how we're doing..." but please don't notice that your return envelope is numbered etc etc.  Kaiser Perm also loves that little game.  And they wonder why we don't return their forms??

In my humble opinion, these people are telling themselves what they want to hear.   Real data comes from the trenches.  If you want accurate results, then get out there where it's happening and witness it and/or ask questions confidentially from the immediate folk doing the behavior.

I've spent many years teaching hiv education in public schools.  One of the most effective techniques is to ask for "any" hiv question to be confidentially written down and then batch read.  Not passed via teachers, etc.  This is the information that students really want and need to know and now can be brought to light and explained safely without public ridicule.  You would think our top medical and social service agencies would get the message...

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