[EpiData-list] First word or Automatic Field Names

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Mon Apr 2 16:56:11 CDT 2007

I am interested as to why the default setting for Epidata for Field
names is first word.  I assume because it is the default setting that it
is the most commonly used. Do other people use the first word setting
when developing questionnaires? I have always used the automatic field
names settings.

I use Epidata mainly for outbreak questionnaires. For these we ask
standard questions each time
1.  descriptive details about the person
2.  information about the pattern of illness 
3.  information about the things (usually food) that a person has been
exposed to 

Becuase you have to develop questionnaires quickly when there is an
outbreak I have a 'master file' which is like a template. When there is
a new outbreak I just change the exposures and save it as a new name.

The following is a sample of what part of the epidata qes file would
look like:

First name __________
Last Name  _________
Sex <A>
DOB  <mm/dd/yyyy>
Ill <Y>
Diarrhoea <Y>
OnsetDate <mm/dd/yyyy>
Ham <Y>
Beef <Y>
Chicken <Y>

What would be the advantage of using the first name setting? It would
mean the field for the first name in the example above would be 'First'.
I have seen people develop questionnaires that use say V1 as the field
and Ham as the label. But it seems to be to be much easier to analyse
data when the field name is self explanatory.  I give other people the
advice to set up their questionnaire like I have and I don't want to be
telling them the wrong thing, so would be interested to know what other
people do.



Christine Roseveare
Regional Public Health
570 9194
027 495 9671

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