What is the purpose of the introductory statement? Can it be changed?

The introductory statement, “The next questions ask about difficulties you may have doing certain activities.” was included for the purpose of transitioning from topic to topic in a census context. The census format includes a small number of questions, usually on a variety of different topics, with topics changing quickly. The purpose of the introductory statement is to inform the respondent that the next set of questions will focus on a new topic. For example, if these questions followed a series of questions on another subject, sanitation for example, the introductory statement would provide a much-needed transition to new subject matter. In a larger survey, where this module might follow other health-related questions, and where the context is already established, the introductory statement could be dropped if the flow of the questionnaire is not adversely affected. It is also possible to change the wording of the introduction, as needed, as long as the word ‘disability’ is not used. 

Examples of alternatives to the introductory statement:

  • The next questions ask about difficulties you may have in doing different activities.
  • Now I am going to ask you some questions about your ability to do different activities.