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01-12-2020 | Research | Uitgave 1/2020 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2020

Development of a national survey on foot involvement among people with psoriatic arthritis in Australia using a best practice approach: a survey development protocol

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2020
Kate Carter, Steven Walmsley, Keith Rome, Deborah E. Turner
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Supplementary information

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13047-020-00424-w.

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Limited research to date has defined the nature and extent of foot involvement in a psoriatic arthritis-specific population in Australia and the scale of the problem remains unclear. Survey research provides the ideal opportunity to sample a large population over a wide geographical area. Although quality criteria for survey research have been developed, research shows that adherence is low and that survey studies are poorly reported in peer-reviewed survey articles, which limits the ability to inform future survey design. The objective of this paper was to develop a national survey about foot involvement in people with psoriatic arthritis using a best practice approach. This is a methods paper for the development of survey research.


A systematic, multi-stage process of survey development was undertaken, which comprised 3 phases: 1) the generation of the conceptual framework and survey content; 2) the development of the survey and pre-testing and 3) development of the survey dissemination strategy. A survey best practice approach was adopted using iterative pre-testing techniques, which included; cognitive debriefing, cultural sensitivity review, survey design expert validation, subject expert validation and pilot testing. Targeted postal and online survey dissemination strategies were developed a priori to optimise the response rates anticipated.


A 59-item survey with 8 sections was developed. Findings demonstrated a high survey response (n = 649), high data completeness (83% of respondents reached the end of the survey) and low rates of missing data (below 5% for 95% of respondents). Extensive survey pre-testing among the target population, health professionals and experts improved the overall quality, content validity, functioning and representativeness of the survey instrument, which optimised potential response rates. Clear audit trails that mapped the analytical process at each stage substantiated the rigour of the survey development methods. Robust strategies for sampling, survey dissemination and community engagement were deemed to have made a powerful contribution to response rates and the scale of information collected.


Robust patient-centred methods in survey design were used to create a novel, high-quality survey to comprehensively evaluate psoriatic arthritis-related foot involvement. Transparent and precise description of the survey design and dissemination methods provides useful information to other researchers embarking on survey design in healthcare.

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