Questionnaire vs. Observation


I have to implement two questionnaires, where the result is a totalscore based on multiple subscores. I would like to save the totalscore, subscores and the questions related to the subscores. First of all I have been struggling for the choice of either Observation or Questionnaire/QuestionnaireResponse as a main resource. Do you have some inputs for this choice? Is it at all possible to save a totalscore in QuestionnaireResponse?
If it is possible to profile the two questionnaires as Observations or Questionnaire/QuestionnaireResponses what are the pros and cons for the choice?

Thanks in advance



QuestionnaireResponse is great for describing data capture. It lets you record exactly what the user saw, in what order as the data was captured and what their options were. However, it’s not great for subsequent query or analysis. Observation is good for data analysis and query, but doesn’t give you rigorous control over data capture. It’s entirely possible to use both - capture initially in a QuestionnaireResponse and then extract into one or more Observations (and sometimes other resources) with a “derivedFrom” relationship pointing back to the original QuestionnaireResponse.

In either case, you’d be able to capture the totals. For QuestionnaireResponse, it’d just be another question - possibly one using extensions to define the calculation. For Observation, it could be a separate Observation if each of the subscores are stand-alone meaningful observations in their own right, or it could be the Observation.value with the subscores as component values if the components aren’t meaningful on their own.



@SofieAAU, whatever happened / did you end-up doing on this?

We have a similar question, where we are slowly trying to bridge some of our proprietary structures to a more Fhir based standard. We have a proprietary structure (call it Foo) that is a between a Composition and Observation, used for display purposes. We are currently working on building a generic viewer for capturing new items to be created as Foos. Questionnaire seems to be the most appropriate Fhir resource to define the template structure and how it should be displayed.

If we do do this, then like you we’d end-up using Questionnaire to build-up a UI to capture data, but ultimately end-up in the creation of a different structure. In this case, a Foo. Any thoughts on this @lloyd or @SofieAAU (or others)?



Questionniare absolutely can be used as a way to define the rendering of a particular set of related information, even though it’s most commonly used for data capture. You might look at the Structured Data Capture implementation guide which has guidance on crafting Questionnaires that allow the population of QuestionnaireResponses from existing data. That would theoretically let you create a ‘foo’ QuestionnaireResponse from your existing data in an automated fashion.