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Sensitive Topic Screener Writing
Sensitive Topic Screener Writing

Your guide to asking the not so easy to ask questions.

Updated over a week ago

🫣 Asking for participants' socioeconomic status or mental/medical history can be a sensitive & delicate topic. With the right language and approach, this doesn't have to be as daunting as it seems

Please check this Article out on how to Start your screeners with a Disclaimer

🧠 Questions concerning Mental Health

For example, rather than "Have you ever been a victim of domestic violence?", you can choose to ask participants "Which of the following have you experienced in your lifetime?"

- Mental illness
- Bullying
- Data breach
- Car accident
- Domestic Violence
- None of the above

This makes the question more vague & less confronting.

For sensitive topics this sensitive, we recommend selecting the Premium Incentive option to thank them for sharing their story & journey

🩻 Questions concerning Physical Health

The same here applies to asking participants about their historical health records or experiences.

Common health research topics we see on Askable include:
- Diabetes
- Cancer

- Diseases caused by smoking or e-smoking

Please do not ask for medical records as a proof from participants as this is sensitive & personal data.

A smart way to identify participants' health experiences is via screeners that will specifically capture their health scenarios.

For example, asking about the intake of specific medication, procedures or tools they use will help you identify a participant's depth of knowledge as a patient.

🏢 Questions concerning Employment

If you're needing to know info related to Employment or Unemployment, simply ask

"Which of the following describes your employment status"
Full time employed, student, retired, home duties, unemployed etc

"If you answered Unemployed on the previous questions, please select the reason of your unemployment"
By choice, childcare, caring for family member, recently laid off, struggling to find a job, prefer not to say

💰 Questions concerning Income & Wealth

This is a casual example which many of our participants mostly are comfortable with

Asking info about debt or government support could help with getting an idea of their socioeconomic status too, you could consider something like this:

Feel free to also ask for the Household Income Bracket. As it's a bracket, participants are mostly comfortable with sharing. You can choose to be safe by adding an option of "prefer not to say" and a description of "All information will be kept Private & Confidential"

📖 Questions concerning Literacy Level

While Educational Level may not be the most accurate to determine one's literacy level, it is a safe & standard question to ask without introducing any individual subjectivity & opinion.

You could ask participants on how they view the Importance of Education from a scale of 1 to 5.

At the end of the day, if participants don't feel comfortable with any questions asked, they can always voluntarily opt out. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach us via the Live Chat! 😄

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