NCHS Questionnaire Design Research Laboratory (QDRL)
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) developed the Questionnaire Design Research Laboratory (QDRL) in 1985 to develop and test survey instruments for NCHS surveys. Question evaluation studies provide an understanding of the substantive meaning represented in the survey estimates. The evaluation studies improve the reliability and validity of the survey instruments—significant information which is valuable to both survey managers and data users. Today, the QDRL conducts question development and evaluation studies for both NCHS surveys and external stakeholders.
The principle activities of the QDRL are three-fold:
- Question Development and Testing Projects, primarily cognitive testing, but including other pretest methodologies such as focus groups, behavior coding, statistical modeling, and mixed-method approaches
- Methodological Research to develop and refine pretest methods and to increase overall understanding of the question response process and survey response error
- Development of technology products to improve qualitative data collection and analysis, and to increase the accessibility and transparency of question evaluation studies.