A question that does not have a set of possible answers from which to make a selection but permits the respondent to answer in essay form. On a questionnaire, the respondent would write an essay or short answer or fill in a blank. During an interview, the respondent would give the interviewer an unstructured, narrative answer. The interviewer would record the response verbatim or select salient features. If a structured interview were used, a question might appear to be open-ended to the interviewee but could be "closed down" by the interviewer, who would have a set of alternative answers to check.
A survey question that asks the respondent to phrase the answer in his or her own words.
a question that cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." Open-ended questions are designed to elicit the patient's knowledge, feelings and beliefs, by beginning with words such as "What," "Why," "Who," "How," and "When," that demand an explanation. Such questions are used to explore complex issues that do not have a finite or predetermined set of responses