Strategies for Data Collection and Analysis Using the Online World: Trials and Tribulations

Sunday, 27 July 2014: 3:15 PM

Judy Mannix, RN, BEd (Nsg), MN (Hons)
School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia


The purpose of this presentation is to report on strategies employed to develop a suitable on-line survey that sought nurses’ views on aspects of clinical leadership. In addition, various methods of recruitment using social media and on-line announcements will be critiqued.


The development of the on-line survey tool involved the adaptation of existing instruments. The survey comprised 47 items requiring participants to respond using a 5 point Likert scale. A short demographic profile was requested at the beginning of the survey – seeking information about their nursing career. A third part of the survey provided participants the opportunity to describe in a text box an example from their practice of aesthetic leadership. Once developed, the survey tool was tested by an expert panel of experienced registered nurses. Following expert panel feedback, minor adjustments were made to the survey and it was loaded onto an existing on-line software program. A link was created to the survey which was included in all recruitment announcements. Recruitment announcements were sent out using email, Facebook and Twitter inviting nurses to complete the survey. 


 Using an existing on-line survey software program facilitated the ease with which the survey was made available in the study. It also enabled the number of respondents to the survey to be monitored after different methods of on-line announcements were utilised. Overall, while all forms of on-line announcements yielded completed surveys, more were completed following an announcement on Twitter. The recruitment strategies employed exposed the survey to a large number of potential respondents, without necessarily a guarantee of who completed the survey. However, analysis of the responses from participants, as well as the completed demographic data did enable a degree of certainty as to whether the survey was completed by a nurse.


Seeking information using on-line technologies is not for the faint-hearted. A certain degree of persistence and endurance is required to ensure that a reasonable response rate is elicited for data analysis. The use of on-line announcements and social media has the potential to maximise exposure for the collection of research data.