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Injury Survey to help out Physical Therapy Students with research.

Original Post
Frank Rizzo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 5

Greetings everyone!

     My name is Matt and I'm finishing up my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in Colorado. Myself and two other classmates are completing an independent study looking at climbing injuries, and how we as PTs can help climbers in the future. We've created a short survey to find out what common injuries are in the climbing community. If you wouldn't mind, we would love it if you shared your experiences with us by clicking on the link below and filled out our survey. It should only take about 3-5 minutes to fill out, and would help us out tremendously. Thank you to all that choose to fill it out, and we wish you happy and healthy climbing!


Matt DeStefano

JSH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 969

Matt, I'm happy to help and take your survey.

You really should have some kind of institutional human-subjects approval / sign-off for your work.

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5


I agree with JSH, it seems odd that at a doctoral level you wouldn't have IRB approvals in place. 

Also your survey design has a big problem; you ask climbers to list all injuries they've ever had from climbing, then the remaining questions refer to a single injury and force you to choose only one reply for each question. At best, each climber is going to choose one injury and respond based on that one, which isn't going to give you very good data. 

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

I started filling it out but quit because of the issues Em Cos noted.  You can't ask for a list of injuries and then ask a long list of questions about how you dealt with "this injury," and you shouldn't be conducting this at all without an explicit Institutional Review Board approval.  When a survey is this badly designed, I have no confidence that the results will be properly studied and understood, and so it seems to be a waste of time to fill out.  I'll be happy to respond to something that seems to be better designed and properly approved.

Shadrock · · Here and there. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 268

I just got done with the survey and, in regards to survey design, found it a little wonky (as stated above) but otherwise pretty basic and very short. So I'm happy to try and help your study. I'm also really happy to see previous comments about IRB approval here simply because so few people are even aware that exists. However, after having looked at the survey  - and having worked fairly closely with IRBs in the past - I would say that nothing here appears to strictly require it. I could be wrong, but there doesn't seem to be any publicly (or otherwise) identifiable information being asked for and a few multiple choice questions in an anonymous forum seems to be at the outer edge of what I would consider "human subject research". That being said, it would be nice to know more about how you plan to use the data, if it will be publicly accessible, if contributors could access it, etc. So I'd suggest you update this thread, and then provide additional documentation on the survey form, about that: if only in the interest of attracting more respondents. I would also suggest a follow-up on this thread with the results once finished. This is always just a nice way to say "thank you" to any community you request data from. This is all just my 2 cents though... now I need to shut up and go climb. 

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145

I serve on an IRB and this survey would be considered exempt by our board (no personal identifiers collected, no risk to subjects). However, for reasons stated above and to ease people's minds, there should be a statement that this research was deemed to be exempt by the institution's IRB (the board determines exempt status, not the researcher). 

Agree with the comments about survey construction, although it's probably too late for you to change this since you've already started collecting responses. I added comments about multiple injuries in the text boxes - it's going to be a nightmare for your analysis! Good learning experience for a new researcher. I'd like to see a summary of the data - especially the last question!

Good luck!

Frank Rizzo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 5

Hey everyone,

    Thank you all for your time in filling out the survey and for your feedback. To quickly touch on the IRB issue, we did look into this with our professors, but for many reasons (thank you  Shadrock for your 2 cents), we did not need to. There was no personal identifying information in the responses, Google surveys do not tell us who answered what, and we are not publishing this data so there was no real need to go through the IRB. Thank you also to ErikaNW for adding your 2 cents. Regarding the study design, I agree that it was not the best design, and asking you to report on "this injury" after having asked you to list ALL your injuries, is not the best way to go. Thanks for the feedback. I will post the results here in the coming weeks a I agree with Shadrock that it's the right thing to do when people volunteer their time and effort. Thanks to all of you who filled out the survey, and especially to those who took the time to offer us feedback. It is greatly appreciated.



Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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