European Paediatric Orthopaedic Society

Survey Application Guide

EPOS survey application guidelines

if you intend to distribute a survey among EPOS members  


1.1    Introduction
Brief paragraph or two to describe the setting and rationale for the survey. The details of the background go into Section 1.2

1.2    Relevant Literature and Data
Overview of the literature and data relevant to the survey to give deeper context to why this survey is important. All prior surveys of the EPOS or other memberships related to this proposed survey of the EPOS membership must be included. Any scales or evaluation tools that may be used in the proposed survey must be supported here with the literature establishing their validity. All reference citations should be listed at the end of Section 7.

1.3    Investigator Experience.
List all prior surveys, publications, and currently ongoing research by the Investigator related to this proposed    survey of the EPOS membership.


2.1    Primary Objective
State the primary objective of the survey. This should be specific. For example: “to determine the rates of utilization of gait analysis in the clinical management of ambulatory children with spastic cerebral palsy across North America.”

2.2    Secondary Objectives
List any secondary objectives, if any, that exist.


3.1    General Survey Design
Provide a general overview of the survey design.

3.2    Survey Population
Provide here a justification for the inclusion and exclusion criteria listed below. If all, rather than a subset, of EPOS will be surveyed explain why this is necessary for the study objective.

3.2.1    Inclusion Criteria

1)    Survey Responder treats >10 cerebral palsy patients a year 
2)    Survey Responder has been in practice for at least 5 years

3.2.2    Exclusion Criteria

1)    Survey Responder does not have access to gait analysis facilities

3.3    Platform and Method of Survey Administration
State the platform that will be used (REDCap, SurveyMonkey etc.) and describe the functions and capabilities the platform carries that lend well for it to be used for your particular survey.

3.4    Survey Length and Number of Questions
State the total length it takes to complete the survey in minutes and state the total number of questions responders will answer. You must provide justification for the length of the survey.

3.5    Ability to Opt-In or Opt-Out
In order to ensure surveys are only being targeted to the appropriate population, we require that all surveys have a screening question (or two) at the very start of the survey. Only subjects who meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria should be able to proceed to the survey. Furthermore, before starting the survey and while still in the screening process, they should be able to choose to opt-in/opt out of participation. This screening and opt-in/opt-out process helps to ensure EPOS members are not filling out surveys unnecessarily, are doing so voluntarily, and that Investigators are not receiving responses from unwanted populations. 

Include here a screenshot of both the screening and opt-in/opt-out questions that you will use to screen for the appropriate target population. Describe in detail why the screening question(s) here will target only the desired survey population effectively.

3.6    Plan for Survey Responders/Non-responders
Include here the plan for how all responses will be monitored. Describe as well the plan to obtain responses from non-responders. Will there be a cap on the number of contacts made to non-responders? How will these contacts be made? How will the Investigators make sure that those who have already responded will not be unduly burdened with unnecessary reminders? (Please keep in mind that survey responders are often very busy so all efforts to simplify and limit unnecessary contacts are looked upon favorably in the evaluation of this application.)

3.7    Ethical Considerations

3.7.1    Confidentiality
Will survey respondents be required to identify themselves? If not, will they still be identifiable by virtue of completing the survey or be identifiable through their responses? How will the Investigators ensure the confidentiality of the data from collection through analysis? Will encryption be used (or need to be used)?

3.7.2    Risk Assessment
Summarize the overall anticipated risks (if any) for subjects completing the survey. Are there any potentially compromising questions that responders may be asked to answer? If so, address how the study design and execution will minimize the risks of harm.

3.7.3    Potential Benefits of Survey Participation
Summarize all potential benefits, if any, from survey participation. Benefits should be broken down into direct benefits (accrue to the survey responder as a result of participation) and indirect benefits (benefits that accrue to the individual or society in the future).

3.7.4    Risk-Benefit Assessment
The Risk-Benefit assessment should be a justification for proceeding with the survey based on the balance between risks and benefits. Often it is stated in the form: “The study team feels the potential benefit(s) of [insert benefits] to [insert population] outweigh the risk(s) involved.”


4.1    Primary Endpoint
Describe how it will be determined that a sufficient number of responses have been collected and that the primary objective can be met.

4.2    Secondary Endpoints
Describe how any secondary objective(s) that may exist will be measured and met.

4.3    Measures to Avoid Bias
Subjects in observational studies are not assigned by a process of randomization and are therefore subject to bias. Briefly describe the measures, if any, to be taken to avoid bias.

4.4    Statistical Methods
Describe what statistical methods will be used to analyze the data collected. Please include whether a power analysis will be necessary and if so include the minimum necessary sample size. 

Along with the application, the investigators will need to submit a completed example of the statistical analyses proposed here in this section. Investigators should run at least 30 trials of the survey with randomly assigned answers and use this to submit the completed example statistical analyses.

Often survey responders note that it is rare, if ever, that they are able to see the results of the survey they have contributed towards. Therefore, we are asking that Investigators provide a Preliminary Report of the data within 6 months of when the survey was sent out and prior to deeper analysis and publication. This Preliminary Report does not need to be as thorough as the final analysis but should provide survey responders with feedback and data that is still meaningful. This ensures that survey responders are able to feel more engaged with the research they are kindly taking part in. Please address the following questions:
1)    How will responders be made aware of the plan for a Preliminary Report before taking the survey? (Will this information be in an introductory email or within the survey intro page itself?) 2)    Immediately following data collection and prior to publication, what are the plans to notify survey responders about the Preliminary Results? What information/reports will go out to the survey responders? 
3)    How will Investigators ensure only those who have successfully completed the survey are provided the Preliminary Report?

Describe the plans for publication.

In addition to sending the Preliminary Report to both survey responders and the EPOS EBP Committee within 3 months of the survey being sent out, a completed statistical analysis of the data and completed abstract should be sent to the EPOS EBP Committee within 5 months, and a completed manuscript should be sent within 8 months of the survey being sent out. Please provide a detailed outline of all project deadlines including the contact schedule for non-responders, deadline for sending out the Preliminary Report, abstract, statistical analyses, and manuscript to the EBP Committee, as well as the deadline for journal submission. Please make sure the timeline is written in terms of days, weeks, or months elapsed since send out of your proposed survey of the EPOS membership.

All references cited in Section 1 belong here.
Approved by the EPOS Scientific Committee in August 2023 (adapted POSNA survey guidelines)