We hope the following guidelines will help you better understand not only the purpose of screening questions but also of our legal and ethical obligations to you as respondents. We get a lot of feedback from our panelists and we understand how frustrating it is to be told you have not qualified for a study when you have already invested time and effort answering screening questions. We are continually working to help minimize the impact and frustrations caused by screening questions both within our own industry and through profiling improvements. Help ensure you are only invited to those studies most relevant to you by ensuring your profiling details are accurate and up-to-date by clicking here.

What is the purpose of screening questions?

Screening questions ensure that the study’s research objectives are met and that the findings are meaningful and unbiased. They’re designed to ensure that we receive opinions only from participants who meet the predetermined requirements of the research. Screening out (failing to qualify) in no way reflects your status as a healthcare professional.

When I screen out, what happens to my data?

We strictly adhere to the BHBIA industry guidelines that state “screening questions should be used purely for recruitment purposes and not data collection. All questions included should either screen participants in or out”. We keep a record of your participation, but only to ensure that we avoid sending you further invitations for the same study.

What kind of questions will I be asked in the screening process, and how long will it take?

The requirements for each study differ, as do the number and type of screening questions. Sometimes they are simple and you only need to meet one or two of the criteria to qualify, but more often strict and very specific criteria dictate who is eligible to participate. We strive to keep the number of questions to an absolute minimum and only include those that are absolutely necessary to confirm eligibility purposes. Screening questions should not typically exceed 15 questions or take longer than 5 minutes average time to answer, although occasionally there are exceptions. We aim to end the screening process as soon as a respondent is definitively screened out.

Will I be paid for my time despite screening out?

We do not normally offer compensation for respondents who screen out. We appreciate that you have taken the time to complete the screening questions but we can only pay incentives when the study has been fully completed, as noted in our survey invitations. Before any study goes live we assess screening questions for their suitability and in some cases where we consider screeners to be excessively long, compensation may be offered for answering the screening questions. Where this is applicable it will be will be noted in the study invitation.

Why am I asked the same screening questions over and over?

Many of the screening questions to establish qualification, particularly at the beginning, are generic in principle and so we understand why this can cause frustrations, because you would expect us to know your specialty and practice type. As the screening data is only used to screen you in or out of a single study, the information entered is not kept or stored anywhere once a study is closed. If we do already have some of this specific information in your user record, we still need you to confirm this in the screening questions to ensure your profile matches the requirements for each individual study. Often the question being asked in principle is generic but the answer attributes available are not.

Why can't you just invite me to studies that I will qualify for, or at least tell me in the invitation what is needed to qualify?

We try to get the balance right! On the one hand, we want to give as many of our respondents a chance to participate in as many studies as possible, whilst on the other, we try to minimize the frustration of respondents not qualifying. We will often invite you to participate in a study that we think you may qualify for, as well as those that we are sure you will qualify for. We will always look to provide you with as much information in the study invitation as we can, to help you make an informed decision about whether you would like to participate. Due to the very nature of market research we are legally not allowed to provide you with anything other than the basic information needed for you to decide whether to take part.

None of these FAQs have helped answer my query!

You can contact us by email at Customer Support - as ever, we’re always delighted to hear from our panel members about any aspect of participating in market research, either for M3 Global Research, or more generally.