Published Papers - Abstract 367

Loxton D & Young A. Longitudinal survey development and design. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 2007; 1(2): 114-125

Many longitudinal studies collect data through self-report or administered surveys, either as the main source of data or as one of a set of data collection methods. Longitudinal studies offer special challenges for survey design including meeting diverse needs of investigators and stakeholders, developing consistent surveys that meet current and future needs, obtaining sensitive information in an ethical way, and producing a survey that is economically sound, easy to complete and haslongitudinal integrity. This paper draws on the experiences of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) to provide some insight into the practical aspects of designing longitudinal surveys, including modes of administration, and the development of baseline and followup surveys. The ingredients for successfully conducting a longitudinal survey include extensive consultation, striving for balance between competing interests, review and documentation of all items and justification of new research questions. The commitment of an ever-evolving research team to these tenets contributes to the production of quality outputs which justify the ongoing contribution of the participants.