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Eval Rev. 1996 Dec;20(6):724-36.

Matching anonymous pre-posttests using subject-generated information.

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Center for Studies in Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA.


Sensitive research issues call for anonymous questionnaires. This makes accurately matching pretests with posttests difficult or impossible. Various subject-generated coding schemes have been developed, but their accuracy has been unknown. This anonymous study, with 745 students, used subject-generated coding to match pretests with posttests. The matching was verified for accuracy with the use of a collateral, anonymous, sticker identification system. The coding system was able to accurately match 75.2% of all the pretest-posttest pairs. An additional 22.1% of the pairs were left unmatched and only 2.7% were matched incorrectly. Subject-generated coding systems can be very effective where confidentiality is important to protect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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