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Introduction  |  Step 1  |  Step 2  |  Step 3  |  Step 4  |  Step 5  |  Step 6  |  Step 7  

Step 7: Check all questionnaire responses for completeness and interpretability before data entry and analysis.

As each questionnaire is returned, you check to see that the participant's identification number is marked clearly on the top of the front page and that any other unwanted identifying information is erased. Next, you check through each page of the questionnaire to make sure markings are complete, clear, and legible.

You find two instances where the interns apparently skipped a page of the questionnaire, failing to answer any question on it. Because it is feasible to reach them, you call and make arrangements for them to complete the blank pages. Among the remaining questionnaires, you find five instances where you cannot decode an answer. You tag these items and have two other members of your team look at them independently. When you meet, you decide that you can agree on the respondent's intent in three of the cases because there are related answers that would be consistent with it. In the two other instances, you decide that you will need to contact the interns for clarification. You want to avoid missing data because you have a small group of respondents who will be responding to other instruments later in the study.