What is Question Visibility?

The question visibility feature in SMART-TRIAL is a type of logic that can be applied to your forms. Setting up rules will change how the form behaves, based on the answers you or your participants provide.

In simple words, question visibility settings will help you determine which questions you or your participants see.

Why should you use the Question Visibility feature?

Asking irrelevant questions can result in decreased data quality, missing data, and confusion. Even worse, lack of compliance.

Badly designed forms and questionnaires can decrease compliance

By showing only relevant fields you ensure two things. First, people are not bothered by empty fields or questions irrelevant to the current context. Second, you ensure correct flow of data input.

You’re controlling the workflow, and thereby designing a better eCRF.

In addition you achieve:

  1. Personalization. Non-applicable questions are distracting. Your participants will appreciate the logical structure in your forms, making it more personal, interactive, and engaging.
  2. Efficiency. Save your participants’ time by only asking questions that are relevant to them, while you gather relevant results for more accurate data analysis.
  3. Increased response rate and compliance. Keeping your participants focused on what matters to them will help you achieve higher response and completion rates.
  4. Improved data quality. Using show rules is a great way to eliminate questions that add no value to your results or can diminish your data. Clean reliable data equals better and faster decisions.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can improve your compliance you should take a look at one of our articles on 5 Steps For Effective Trial Design and Improved Compliance

Below, we describe the SMART-TRIAL question visibility feature and why it is important to use logic when building electronic case report forms and questionnaires for electronic patient reported outcomes (ePRO) or electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA).

How to create logic in forms using question visibility in SMART-TRIAL?

From the SMART-TRIAL form builder (Create Form), click “Add new question” button and specify the question details.

Take a look at the SMART-TRIAL Help Center for more information on how to create forms.

Need help with building forms?

To access the question’s visibility settings, click on ‘advanced options’. From there, you have various settings depending on the type of question you’re creating.

Question Visibility Options

If you scroll down, you’ll see the ‘Question Visibility’ setting in the bottom.

By default, all questions are set to ‘Always visible’. To change the question visibility, select ‘Show only when:’ and specify to which conditions the question shall be visible to the person filling it out.

Question visibility settings

NOTE: Currently you cannot control the question visibility, if you do not have any questions available in the form, shown BEFORE the question you’re working on, that have at least one of the following question types:

  • Yes/No
  • Multiple Choice
  • Multiple Response
  • Smiley Scale

If the participant’s answer matches the specified criteria, the question will be displayed correctly – and only if relevant. See example from the video below.

Applying logic to forms will improve your data quality and help you avoid form or questionnaire fatigue among your participants, whether they’re healthcare professionals or patients.

It’s important to remember not to create a form where all fields, or a whole form, can be left empty (optional inputs) – if irrelevant for a particular subject or a subject group.

Instead, you should group them under one or more questions with a proper visibility setting. Use a Yes/No question type to show/hide all your relevant questions related to a specific subject group.

That way, you can eliminate any uncertainty of missing data for a given group. Even better, you guide the data collector, as he/she doesn’t have to question if fields are relevant for a given subject or not.

Last but not least, remember to not overuse it, as constantly showing and hiding information in your forms does not give a good impression either.

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