Electronic quality of life questionnaires: a comparison of pen-based electronic questionnaires with conventional paper in a gastrointestinal study
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The use of pen-based electronic questionnaires and conventional paper questionnaires was compared in a randomized crossover study. Forty-six patients, aged 17–81 years, suffering from gastrointestinal disorders, initially filled in a paper quality of life questionnaire for familiarization purposes, then on two subsequent visits completed electronic and paper questionnaires in randomized order. At the last visit they completed a preference survey. The results showed a high degree of acceptability of the electronic questionnaire, with 57% of patient preferring electronic and 13% preferring paper, while the remaining 30% expressed no preference. Neither age, gender nor familiarity with technology showed any marked association with patients' preferences. All patients found both paper and electronic questionnaires easy to use. Data were more complete on the electronic questionnaire (100%) than on the paper (99.1%). Data handling procedures were greatly simplified. These results show that major benefits in completeness of data, speed of data flow, and data handling workload can be obtained from the use of pen-based electronic questionnaires.
Key wordsAutomatic data processing gastrointestinal diseases quality of life
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