Health Research Methods Descriptive Survey

Health Research Methods

Descriptive surveys are conducted on a set of objects that usually aim to see a picture of the phenomena (including health) that occur within a given population. In general, descriptive surveys are used to make an assessment of the condition and implementation of a program in the present, and then the results are used to plan improvements to the program. 

The descriptive survey can also be defined as a study conducted to describe or describe a phenomenon that occurs in the community in the field of Public Health descriptive survey is used to describe or photograph health problems as well as those related to the health of a group of people or people living in a particular community.

In general, the steps that must be taken in this descriptive survey research are no different from other research methods, namely:

  1. Choose the problem to be studied.
  2. Formulate and conduct eradication of the problem, then based on one of these problems held a preliminary study to gather information and theories as the basis for developing the framework of the research concept.
  3. Identify the variables to be observed or collected.
  4. Formulate and select data collection techniques.
  5. Define criteria or categories to hold data classification.
  6. Determine the techniques and data collection tools to be used.
  7. Carry out research or data collection.
  8. Perform data processing and analysis.
  9. Draw conclusions or generalizations.
  10. Prepare and publish research reports.

In health research, the types of descriptive survey problems can be classified into the following:

1. Household Survey

Is a descriptive survey aimed at households? Usually, data collection is carried out by interviewing the head of the family. The information obtained from the head of the family is not only information about the head of the family, but also information about himself or the circumstances of other family members, and even information about the house and its environment.

2. Morbidity Survey

Is a descriptive survey that aims to determine the incidence and distribution of disease in the community or population. This survey can also be used to determine the incidence or occurrence of a disease or prevalence (prevalence).

3. Functional Analysis Survey

This survey aims primarily to find out about the duties and responsibilities of health workers as well as the activities of these workers in relation to their work. In addition, this survey can also determine the status and relationship between one another, or the relationship between superiors and subordinates, working conditions, and existing facilities to carry out tasks.

4. Public Opinion Survey

This survey was conducted with the aim to obtain an overview of public opinion on a health care program that is running, and that concerns all levels of society. This survey can also be used to explore public or public opinion about health services and public health problems.


Notoatmodjo, S. (2010). Notoatmodjo s Health Research Methodology, editor. Jakarta: PT. Rineka Cipta.

Creswell, J.W., & Miller, D. (2000). Determining validity in qualita¬tive inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3), 124-130.

Bowling, A. (2014). Research methods in health: investigating health and health services. McGraw-hill Education (UK).

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Sage publications.

Creswell, J.W. & Piano Clark, V.L. (2007). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Green, J., & Thorogood, N. (2018). Qualitative methods for health research. sage.

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