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Can I still change the forms when my study is live?

It is possible to make changes to the study forms after a study has been live, but the study status must be changed to "not live" before you can make adjustments to the study form.

It is important to remember that existing data may be affected by changing the study forms. To make sure that the changes you make will not affect existing data, please consider the following points:


  • Adding phases, steps, fields throughout the study can be done without concern.
  • Adding an option in an option group can be done without any consequences.
  • Adding a dependency works in the way that it shows the question if the condition is fulfilled. When the dependency is created, the fields where the condition is not fulfilled will be hidden. If the field value that triggers the dependency will be changed again, after the dependency has been added, the data might be deleted in case the setting 'Clear inapplicable child fields' is set to 'Yes'. To prevent the data loss, you would need to go to the Settings tab -> Other' -> In the 'Clear inapplicable child fields' select 'No' -> 'Save changes'.


  • Changing the text in a question (the field label) or the variable name can also be done.
  • Changing the name of any report, study or survey form, or report instance can be done safely.
  • Changing the name of institutes/centers can be done without affecting existing data.
  • Changing a validation message or message type can be done safely. 
  • Changing validation conditions is also possible, but previously triggered validations will be removed if the previously defined conditions are no longer met.
  • Modifying the configuration of the grid field leads to data loss, if the data has been collected for the grid field.
  • Changing fields with dependencies could lead to data loss, so if you are changing a parent field, consider whether the dependent fields will be affected.
  • Changing the field type is possible and limited only to the compatible field types to prevent data loss.
  • Changing the name of the phases used in automations will have no effect on the automations, which are linked to phase/step and field IDs. The automations will continue working, even after changing the name of the step or phase, as well as any field labels.
  • Moving a field to a different step is possible, even if the data contained for example signatures/queries (these will be moved along with the field).
  • Changing the option group values will lead to data loss if data was already collected for the field using that option group.
  • Replacing an option group can be done without any problems if the new option values correspond to the option values of the original option group. For example, if the original option groups contained options 'Yes' with the value 1, 'No' with the value 2, and 'Maybe' with the value 3 and it should be replaced with an option group 'A' with the value 1,  'B' with the value 2, and 'C' with the value 3, the data will be preserved, just the label will be changed.
  • Replacing an option group where the new option values differ from the original option group values will lead to data loss.


  • Removing or adding lower and upper limits for numerical fields can be done without any concerns.
  • Removing a phase, step or field will cause data loss if data has been collected for that variable. 
  • Removing a survey from a survey package: If you remove a survey from a survey package that's already been sent out, then you will lose the data for that survey. Adding the survey back should restore the data.
  • Deleting a field which is used for stratification will break the form and lead to errors when trying to open a record.
  • Deleting an automation to create queries will not have any consequences for the data and will not delete already created queries.
  • Deleting an automation to hide a phase or a step does not impact the data, but will make the phases and steps visible again. 
  • Deleting an automation to create and send survey package will not lead to data loss, and will not delete the already scheduled survey invitations

 If you are not sure whether you can safely make a change, please contact the Castor Support team for advice.

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  1. Tonya

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