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Addendum: Adaptive Questionnaires

May 24, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Tomy Granzier-Nakajima

Executive Summary 

Adaptive questionnaires are assessments that are tailored to the respondent and are often performed on a computer. Answers to previous questions in an adaptive questionnaire are used to determine future questions in the same assessment by a computer algorithm. In contrast, static questionnaires ask the same questions of all respondents, and therefore often require more questions to cover all possible assessment outcomes. Senate Bill 829 of the 2022 Missouri legislative session would allow adaptive questionnaires to be sufficient for the purpose of establishing a physician-patient relationship for the purposes of making an informed diagnosis and prescribing drugs. 


  • Research suggests that adaptive questionnaires are effective for use in assessing health-related quality of life and mental health.
  • Adaptive questionnaires can reduce the time spent on a questionnaire and improve precision in terms of health assessment and diagnosis when compared to static questionnaires. 
    • For the assessment of certain mental health disorders such as major depressive disorder, adaptive questionnaires can reproduce the results of an hour-long diagnostic interview with a test that takes one minute to complete.


  • Scientific research on the application and effectiveness of adaptive testing is still ongoing. 
    • Which health conditions are suitable for adaptive testing are currently under investigation.
    • It is not clear what the best way to implement adaptive questionnaires into diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up is.
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