Developing a self-administered questionnaire: methods and considerations

Publication Name

Nurse researcher


BACKGROUND: Using a structured process to develop a self-administered questionnaire provides a robust tool for collecting data that enhances the credibility of the results. Describing this process mitigates any complexity and confusion for the nurse researcher which can be generated by many sources of information that either lack detail or have complex statistical approaches. AIM: To discuss the development of a self-administered questionnaire with a focus on face, content, construct validity and reliability testing. DISCUSSION: Adopting a well-established, sequential, five-step approach ensures that important concepts of questionnaire development are addressed: assessing existing tools and qualitative data, if available; drafting of the questionnaire with consideration for question styles, comprehension, acquiescent bias and face validity; expert panel review to establish content validity and inter-rater reliability; pilot testing to assess construct validity; and exploratory factor analysis to establish reliability testing. This approach results in a robust and credible tool for collecting data. CONCLUSION: This article provides nurse researchers with a structured process for developing self-administered questionnaires. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Investing time and effort to assess a newly developed questionnaire for validity and reliability and consider question styles, comprehension and acquiescent bias results in an improved and strengthened tool for collecting data. This in turn enhances the quality and credibility of a study's findings.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access





First Page


Last Page




Link to publisher version (DOI)