Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday re-runs

On the side I do survey work for various market research companies. They ask me what I think of ad campaigns, or medications, or whatever.

So last night I was doing a phone interview with one, and was asked this great question:

"Doctor, have any of your patients ever stopped taking their Alzheimer's medication due to death?"

14 comments:

MSGMD said...

No, we shove it in their mouths as long as they are above ground, so they actually stop because of burial...

Anonymous said...

Did the interviewer realize how ridiculous this question was?
I volunteer at a food bank and I'm required to ask applicants why they need food from the food bank. Like someone is going to say "Oh I can afford food, I just want a free meal" or "The food bank is closer than the grocery store" or "I've heard the no-name brand noodles and tuna here are to die for."

Lisa said...

The sad thing is that those surveys go through many layers of approvals before the study is commenced. I'm amazed that nobody caught the absurdity of the question.

Anonymous said...

No, they take it until they forget to take it.

Kiryn said...

I hope he meant someone ELSE's death. As in, the person who was responsible for making sure they took their medication died?

Mal said...

Nope, nope, zombies are actually one of our biggest target groups. Take Forgetitnot and preserve your BRAAAIIINNNS!

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, doc, I was taking my medicine regularly, but then one day I ate some shrooms and went to see this Bergman movie, and it just really hit me that we're all going to die and that everything in life is just ultimately futile and meaningless. So why bother?"

RehabRN said...

Yes, every single one. I know it's statistically significant, but...

I can't believe this person REALLY asked that. Do they not read AND comprehend?

Thank goodness there were no sex toy questions (or aliens or something really weird) on that survey. I'm sure they'd ask.

OMG...(scratching head, shaking head)

suzanne smith said...

Hmm...did you answer that you haven't ran into any talking Alzheimer zombies to find out? And would they remember?

Grace said...

My dad did.

Val said...

Only the zombies.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has given these types of surveys over the phone: the interviewer is REQUIRED to read to read the survey VERBATIM...
...even if the question seems silly or stupid it must be read exactly as it appears on the monitor or sheet of paper.

Most people performing interviews are not employed directly by the drug company. They likely are employed by a company that performs market research. Most of this 'research' is not related to pharmaceuticals or medicine.

I was one of 3-5 interviewers out of over 100 who was considered 'intelligent enough' to read surveys to physicians. None of us had completed college. None of us were trained in a medical field. Our boss handed us a packet of questions and quickly told us how to pronounce words like erythropoietin.

If a physician asked me to clarify a vague question, i couldn't because i honestly didn't know. The worst thing was interviewing people who claimed to have a medical degree and claimed to specialize in a certain field...and they would ask me what these specific medical terms were. Finally, most of the doctors i interviewed who spoke english as a 2nd language did not know what the word 'efficacy' meant.

Anonymous said...

I think I wrote this somewhere already, but these kinds of "stupid" questions get asked in surveys all the time. (As avid readers of Dr Grumpies you all will know.)

Most of the time though they have a reason behind them: That is to catch people not reading the questions carefully or answering after a pattern. Basically they are tests for the validity of the answers given. Example: Someone always answering "No" (possibly thinking "lets get it over with I want to go to lunch") would have had a problem with that question.

Even though it may seem so sometimes... most social scientists and other authors actually think (a lot), before they spend the thousands upon thousands it costs to roll out a study. Exceptions validate that rule.

Anonymous said...

"Funny you should ask that. All the ones who have died have stopped taking their medication as a result. Isn't that amazing?"

 
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