“We tried to, but life gets in the way”: The Value of Cognitive Interviewing for Testing a Questionnaire on Antibiotic Consumption Behaviours.

In this article, available as an unrefereed preprint, I present and discuss the cognitive interviewing I conducted to test the questionnaire instrument for my primary survey research as part of my doctoral research.

The overarching argument of the article is that cognitive interviewing is a valuable method for testing questionnaires about antibiotic-related behaviours before they are used in survey researches. This argument is illustrated with findings regarding socially desirable responding (an issue where respondents choose what they believe to be a socially desirable response rather than the response that best reflects their behaviour or attitude), differences in the extent of recollection problems in human- and pet-related antibiotic use, and the depth of supplemental data generated around otherwise dimension-reduced survey questions.

The argument is also illustrated by a discussion of examples of cognitive interviewing in settings where antibiotics have been part of survey questions (for example, in blood donor screening questionnaires) that highlight the situatedness of antibiotic-related question comprehension and the consequent necessity of detailed qualitative testing of survey instruments.

The cognitive interviewing approach is linked in the article to the broader mixed-methods approach of my doctoral work, highlighting with examples the ways in which this method can act as a bridge between quantitative and qualitative strands of work.

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