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Create a new survey (package)

You can find this manual item also in our workshop. Click here to view the workshop video.

In this article, you'll learn how to create a survey package. Surveys provide a way to send respondents, clients or patients, a questionnaire that will be linked to a Castor record. This enables you to add additional patient reported outcomes (PRO) to the outcomes you have defined for your own data entry. 

Surveys are sent as part of a survey package and consist of one or multiple steps. Creating a survey is similar to building to adding the phases/steps of your CRF. After your Survey (package) is created you have to invite your respondents through the 'Surveys' tab on the data entry page.

Structure editor

To create a survey, we start by creating a survey structure in the Structure tab, Surveys sub-tab:

  1. Using the '+ Add' button beside 'Surveys' you can add a new survey. This is similar to creating a phase in the study forms.
  2. All created surveys will be listed in the left 'Surveys' panel. You must select a survey from this list in order to add steps.
  3. Using the '+ Add' button beside 'Steps of [Survey], you can add additional steps to your survey.

Add a survey

To create a new survey, click the '+ Add' button to open the 'Add a survey' dialog:

In this window, you can enter the name and description of your survey and set the introduction and outro texts:

  1. Name: the title of the survey which will be displayed in the left 'Surveys' panel.
  2. Description: the description of the survey to summarize the content of the survey or any other relevant information.
  3. Introduction text: this is the introduction text of this specific survey. This text will be displayed upon opening a survey, before the respondent proceeds to the actual questions.
  4. Outro text: this is the outro text of this specific survey. This text will be shown upon completing a survey.
  5. Preview: you can use the 'Preview' button to see an example, showing how the text will be displayed in the survey
  6. Save: click the 'Save' button to create the survey.

Survey structure

After the survey has been created, it will be added in the 'Surveys' panel on the the left. Here you can also switch between surveys if you created more than one survey. If you want to change the name of the survey or the text that you just added click the cogwheel icon and select 'Edit survey':

To continue building the survey, create the first step of the survey by pressing '+ Add' to create a new step in the survey.

Add a new step to the survey

To create a step click '+ Add':

  • Position: determines where you want the new step to be placed.
  • Survey step name: the step's title which participants will be able to see (required).
  • Survey step description: the description of the step.

Press 'Save' to create the new step and return to the Form builder.

Copy a step of a survey

To copy a step, click on the cogwheel beside the step and select 'Copy step'. See Copying survey steps for more information.

Create a survey package

In order to send out your survey to participants, you must create survey packages.  In the 'Structure' tab, open the 'Survey Packages' sub-tab.

Click '+ Add' to create a new survey package.

Edit a survey package

In the 'Add a survey package' window, you can set up the configuration of the new survey package. Survey packages behave as 'containers' for your surveys and allow you to send the surveys to individual participants or a group of participants. A survey invitation by default includes a {url} tag. The {url} tag is the actual link to the survey which will be generated once the survey invitation is sent. The remaining text of the invitation mail can be edited based upon your preference.

  • Name: the title of the Survey Package
  • Invitation sender: the email address of the sender the respondent will see in the survey invitation email
  • Invitation subject: the subject of the invitation mail that will be sent to participants.
  • Invitation mail: The content of the invitation mail itself. This field must contain the {url} tag. During the invitation process, Castor will generate a unique URL where the respondent can find his/her Survey. This URL will be placed in the invitation mail where the {url} tag is located.
  • Lock survey if finished: Locks the survey after the respondents clicks on the ‘finish survey’ button. After the survey is locked, responses in the survey can not be changed.
  • Auto send: if enabled, an invitation will automatically be sent when the new Survey Package is created. Alternatively, you can manually send the invitations at a later date.
  • Allow step navigation: if enabled, respondents can click through the step navigator (if shown).
  • Show step navigator: if enabled, respondents will see a list of the Steps of the Survey on the left hand of the Survey data entry screen
  • Force step completion: if enabled, respondents have to complete all required fields of a Step before they can continue to the next Step
  • Finished URL: when a respondent completes all the surveys in the survey package, a 'Finish' button will appear instead of the 'Next Step' button. Clicking 'Finish' will take the respondent to the URL specified in this field.

Note: When creating a test survey package, it is recommended to include an example email body. Otherwise, there is a high chance that your test survey invitation will be filtered out by your email provided and placed in the spam/junk folder.

Set up a reminder for a survey package

It is possible to set up a reminder for a survey package. This is a generic setting for the survey package and will always be applied when an invitation is sent for that survey package. 

To create a reminder, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Reminder tab when creating/editing a survey package
  2. Tick the box 'Send reminder if survey not yet completed'.  This will send a survey reminder if the survey progress not 100% and the survey is not locked.
  3. Add the reminder subject
  4. Add the invitation message. Use {url} where the invitation URL should come. When a survey will be sent, the {url} will be converted to an actual survey link. Use {logo} to include a small version of the study logo.
  5. Set the number of days after which the reminder should be sent. The reminder can be set for up to 99 days after the invitation was sent.

Introduction and outro text

In the survey package, you can provide introductory and concluding text that will be shown as the first and last pages of the survey package. You can also provide intro/outro text that will be displayed at the beginning and end of the survey itself:

Survey selection

In the Survey selection tab you can choose which surveys you want to add to the survey package and in which order you want them to appear. You can re-arrange the order of the surveys using the blue arrows.

Create survey questions

Each survey contains one or multiple steps. Each step will appear as a different page in the survey where users will need to navigate through (using Next/Previous buttons). You can group the survey questions in different steps in a relevant manner, similarly to the normal study CRF. Each question corresponds to a field.

To create your survey questions:

  1. Navigate to the 'Form' tab > 'Surveys' sub-tab.
  2. Using the dropdown menus in the header, select the survey and step you have previously created where you want to add questions.
  3. Start adding fields in the same way that you add fields in your study form.

Copy a survey package

To duplicate a survey package, click on the cogwheel and select Copy survey package

Add a name for the copied survey package and click SaveWhen copying survey packages the following is copied: Intro text, outro text, settings and the usages of surveys within the package.

Video tutorial

Watch the video walk-through on Castor Academy:

Create a new survey (package) | Castor Academy

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