In the digital age, web surveys have become a common tool for researchers, organizations, and businesses to gather data. However, the quality and validity of online surveys can be significantly compromised if standard guidelines are not followed. Recognizing the importance of methodological rigor, a noteworthy publication titled “Mejora de la calidad de las encuestas web españolas: adaptación española de la lista de control para informar los resultados de encuestas electrónicas por internet (CHERRIES) al contexto español” has captured attention in the field of primary care research. This article, originating from Atencion Primaria, sheds light on the adaptation of the internationally recognized CHERRIES checklist for reporting results of internet e-surveys to the Spanish context. Here, we take an in-depth look at this development and its implications for improving web survey reporting standards in Spain and possibly beyond.

*Context and Significance

Online surveys have become a fundamental research instrument, especially in the medical and social sciences. The ease of distribution, cost-effectiveness, and timely collection of data make web surveys an attractive option. However, the quality of such surveys varies greatly, and often the reporting of these surveys leaves much to be desired. In response to this, Eysenbach proposed the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES) in 2004, aiming to enhance the quality of reporting in online surveys.

The CHERRIES checklist covers various crucial aspects of web survey reporting, including survey design, recruitment, collection, analysis, and interpretation of the results, which collectively work to improve the transparency and replicability of online survey-based studies. The checklist is a vital resource, setting a benchmark for researchers and ensuring that stakeholders can confidently interpret and utilize the data collected.

The original CHERRIES checklist was developed in English, potentially limiting its adoption in non-English speaking contexts. Recognizing this gap, a group of Spanish researchers, led by Juan A. López-Rodríguez, embarked on adapting the CHERRIES checklist to the Spanish language and socio-cultural milieu. This initiative marks a significant leap forward in standardizing web survey methodologies within Spanish-speaking research communities.

The Spanish Adaptation of CHERRIES

Juan A. López-Rodríguez and colleagues published their work in Atencion Primaria, illustrating the meticulous process of translating and adapting the CHERRIES checklist to the Spanish context. The initiative was multifaceted, involving not just linguistic translation but also ensuring that the checklist was culturally appropriate and that it addressed the unique challenges faced by Spanish web surveys.

This Spanish adaptation garnered support from various sectors within the research community, including the Red de Investigación en Servicios de Salud en Enfermedades Crónicas (REDISSEC). The adapted checklist maintains fidelity to the original’s objectives while considering the nuances of the Spanish language and research culture.

Implications for Research Quality and Replicability

The Spanish CHERRIES checklist is poised to have substantial implications for research quality and replicability. By providing researchers with a tailored guide that speaks directly to their context, the checklist encourages better designed and reported web surveys, which, in turn, enhances their utility for evidence-based decision-making.

Furthermore, the adaptation of the CHERRIES checklist to Spanish also opens the door to more profound consideration of cultural competence in research. With more localized versions of such checklists, the accuracy and relevance of data obtained from diverse populations may increase, leading to more nuanced understanding and policy development.

Continued Challenges and the Road Ahead

Despite these advancements, challenges remain. Engagement and adherence to the checklist by the research community are paramount for its success. Thus, dissemination and training around the use of the adapted CHERRIES checklist become crucial next steps. Researchers, peer reviewers, and editors must advocate and enforce the use of the checklist to ensure its benefits are fully realized.

In addition, as technology and methodologies evolve, the checklist itself will require regular updates to stay relevant. This means that the community of researchers and stakeholders must maintain an open dialogue about best practices in web survey research.

Conclusion

The Spanish adaptation of the CHERRIES checklist represents a significant stride in improving the quality of web survey methodologies and reporting, allowing Spanish-speaking researchers to produce data that is transparent, replicable, and credible. By embracing this adapted checklist, the research community can enhance the integrity of data collection and contribute to the development of evidence that truly reflects the needs and contexts of diverse populations.

DOI and References

DOI: 10.1016/j.aprim.2019.03.005

1. López-Rodríguez, Juan A. “[Improving the quality of Spanish web surveys: Spanish adaptation of the checklist for reporting results of internet e-surveys (CHERRIES) to the Spanish context].” Aten Primaria 51.9 (2019): 586-589.
2. Eysenbach, G. “Improving the quality of web surveys: The Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES).” J Med Internet Res 6.3 (2004): e34. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.6.3.e34
3. Kellerman, S. E., & Herold, J. “Physician response to surveys. A review of the literature.” Am J Prev Med 20 (2001): 61–67. DOI: 10.1016/S0749-3797(00)00258-0
4. VanGeest, J. B., Johnson, T. P., & Welch, V. L. “Methodologies for improving response rates in surveys of physicians: A systematic review.” Eval Health Prof 30.4 (2007): 303–321. DOI: 10.1177/0163278707307899
5. Rosenbaum, P.R., & Rubin, D.B. “The Central Role of the Propensity Score in Observational Studies for Causal Effects.” Biometrika 70 (1983): 41–55. DOI: 10.1093/biomet/70.1.41

Keywords

1. Spanish CHERRIES checklist
2. Web survey reporting standards
3. Online survey quality assurance
4. Spanish e-survey adaptation
5. CHERRIES checklist in primary care research