Repeating form or repeating section?

A form can be repeatable to allow the same form, such as an adverse event form, to be recorded multiple times for the same subject.

But a single form can also contain a repeating section which also allows a set of questions to be answered multiple times for the same subject. So when designing your electronic CRF, you may have to choose between these two options for recording repeating questions.

Repeating form vs section

A repeating form (left) vs a form with a repeating section (right)

How they are the same

  • Repeating forms and repeating sections both allow a set of questions to be recorded multiple times for the same subject

How they are different

  • Each completed repeating form is shown in the subject details section of Red Pill with a sequence number when viewing a subject. This makes it easy to see how many have been recorded.

Repeat entry forms

A repeating form listed in the subject view

  • Investigators can add another repeating form at any time. However, they can only add repeating sections once when adding the parent form. To add further sections they must later edit the form which requires the investigator edit setting to be turned on.
  • Repeating sections are displayed on a parent form as a series of panels. This makes it easy to see all responses at the same time.

A form with subforms

A form with a repeating section for hospital admissions

  • With repeating sections you can include a leading question to ask whether any repeating sections are required. Sealed Envelope can add a custom validator to require none or at least one section to be completed depending on the answer given to the leading question.
  • Repeating sections are stored in a separate database table from the parent form.

Recommendations

  • Use repeating forms for events that can occur (unpredictably) at any time during the study
  • If there are many questions to ask, repeating forms makes data entry easier and more manageable
  • Repeating sections are useful for recording a limited set of questions at a particular visit, such as conconmitant medications, information on family members or past hospital admissions. Consider adding a leading question to determine whether any repeating sections are expected and request a custom validation rule to enforce this.
Page updated 1 Jan 2018