The Supervisor Survey is an 11-page, paper-and-pencil survey with 132 items related to supervisory responsibilities; provider management practices; and job quality, satisfaction, problems, and rewards. We chose a paper-and-pencil survey over a telephone survey for two reasons: (1) a telephone survey is costlier; and (2) obtaining individual supervisor telephone numbers is difficult. The survey is based on items adapted from the BJBC Clinical Manager Survey and BJBC Direct Care Worker Survey that were administered as part of the broader BJBC evaluation. So that comparisons could be made across surveys, we kept question wording consistent.
Prior to fielding, the Survey Research Center cognitively tested the survey by interviewing five frontline supervisors from local long-term care providers. Three were supervisors in skilled nursing facilities, one was in a home care agency, and another was in an adult day service provider. Respondents were asked to describe their thought processes out loud as they answered the survey questions. The interviewers solicited feedback on wording, placement, and flow of questions within the survey. These interviews identified items that were not clear to respondents or were not interpreted as intended. As a result, we made minor changes in the wording and placement of these items.
We anticipated that in smaller organizations clinical managers also might qualify as supervisors. Because the Clinical Manager and Supervisor Surveys contained many common items, the Survey Research Center prepared a shorter version of the survey instrument that included only the items on the Supervisor Survey that were not in the Clinical Manager Survey.
For the survey and survey procedures, we obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval at the Pennsylvania State University (IRB #16989) and clearance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB # 0990-0295). In addition, we obtained a National Institutes of Health Certificate on Confidentiality to strengthen respondent privacy.
In addition to testing the survey instrument, the Survey Research Center staff reviewed internal procedures to ensure that all technical aspects of the data collection methodology functioned properly. Procedures for administering the survey were the same as those successfully used in the BJBC evaluation to survey DCWs. Therefore, it was not necessary to field test the administration of the Supervisor Survey.