Journal of Applied Hematology

: 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 156--157

Conducting a health survey for our society: Lessons learned

Khawar Siddiqui, Ghulam Pathan 
 Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Khawar Siddiqui
Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, MBC 53, Riyadh 11211
Saudi Arabia

How to cite this article:
Siddiqui K, Pathan G. Conducting a health survey for our society: Lessons learned.J Appl Hematol 2018;9:156-157

How to cite this URL:
Siddiqui K, Pathan G. Conducting a health survey for our society: Lessons learned. J Appl Hematol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Jul 24 ];9:156-157
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Reducing morbidity and improving the quality of life are the main objectives for a health-care service offering treatment to patients in a given catchment. Research in health care, with its highly broader sense, carries utmost value to the society we live in. It is the most reliable source of information on distribution, determinants, and dynamics of a disease: trends, risk factors, and outcome of interventions, pattern, cost, and use of the health care.[1] Clinical trials, epidemiological surveys, cohort or case–control studies, as well as meta-analysis provide us with a level of scientific evidence needed to serve as guidance to take a valid decision-making approach in routine health practice,[2] besides being an essential component for advancing the evidence-based medicine.[3] Conversely, research in health care in general and epidemiological research involving surveys to assess the distribution of certain conditions in a subpopulation, in particular, is resource intensive and a costly proposition: especially difficult to gain financial support in the periods of economic crunch without some persuasive evidence of a related benefit to the society.[4] Although it is difficult to provide evidence for the impact that the whole clinical research enterprise can have on a health-care outcome eventually, yet different approaches in conducting clinical research can provide complementary insights.

In consecution to conducting a survey on the prevalence of bleeding symptoms among adolescents and young adults in the capital city of Saudi Arabia[5] and our brief report describing our experience of translation and adaptation of an English language questionnaire into Arabic for implementation,[6] we feel that lessons learned from such a project should be shared with the community of medical practitioners and researchers to facilitate the conduct of such surveys in the Kingdom. The need for using means, including but not limited to the use of social media, to announce the initiation of such a health-care project is being highlighted. Commissioning of native Arabic speaking female interviewers with mediocre level medical background to rebut an answer to a given question needed to ensure accurate response, proved quite difficult. The use of paper-based case report forms and double data entry system is an established standard in research data management systems capable of the provision of source documents in case need to review a questionable response, using tablet computers connected to the internet recording the responses directly into a database is getting increasingly popular. However, this practice has its own caveat in terms of validation, integrity, and quality of data collected; thus, rendering valuable data items not good enough to be included in the final analysis due to poor quality information provided by the subjects. Authors would like to highlight the need for initiation of postgraduate Clinical Research Certificate and Diploma programs which are accredited with international agencies, at various universities and colleges in the Kingdom, especially for the females. The creation of governmental bodies to audit a research project on a real-time basis for its conduct in the backdrop of established standards on data quality management is essential. Moreover, a central repository for data generated by funded research is also in order.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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6Siddiqui K, Abu-Riash M, Al-Sulaiman A. Translation and adaptation of English language questionnaire into arabic for implementation of a large survey on assessing the symptoms of bleeding disorders in Saudi Arabia. J Appl Hematol 2017;8:156-8.