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The effect of mode and context on survey results: Analysis of data from the Health Survey for England 2006 and the Boost Survey for London

Tipping, S; Hope, S; Pickering, K; Erens, B; Roth, MA; Mindell, JS; (2010) The effect of mode and context on survey results: Analysis of data from the Health Survey for England 2006 and the Boost Survey for London. BMC MED RES METHODOL , 10 , Article 84. 10.1186/1471-2288-10-84. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Health-related data at local level could be provided by supplementing national health surveys with local boosts. Self-completion surveys are less costly than interviews, enabling larger samples to be achieved for a given cost. However, even when the same questions are asked with the same wording, responses to survey questions may vary by mode of data collection. These measurement differences need to be investigated further.Methods: The Health Survey for England in London ('Core') and a London Boost survey ('Boost') used identical sampling strategies but different modes of data collection. Some data were collected by face-to-face interview in the Core and by self-completion in the Boost; other data were collected by self-completion questionnaire in both, but the context differed.Results were compared by mode of data collection using two approaches. The first examined differences in results that remained after adjusting the samples for differences in response. The second compared results after using propensity score matching to reduce any differences in sample composition. Results: There were no significant differences between the two samples for prevalence of some variables including long-term illness, limiting long-term illness, current rates of smoking, whether participants drank alcohol, and how often they usually drank. However, there were a number of differences, some quite large, between some key measures including: general health, GHQ12 score, portions of fruit and vegetables consumed, levels of physical activity, and, to a lesser extent, smoking consumption, the number of alcohol units reported consumed on the heaviest day of drinking in the last week and perceived social support (among women only).Conclusion: Survey mode and context can both affect the responses given. The effect is largest for complex question modules but was also seen for identical self-completion questions. Some data collected by interview and self-completion can be safely combined.

Type: Article
Title: The effect of mode and context on survey results: Analysis of data from the Health Survey for England 2006 and the Boost Survey for London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2288-10-84
Publisher version: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2288/10/84
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Tipping et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: RESPONSE BIAS, TELEPHONE, IMPACT, MAIL
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Pop, Policy and Practice Prog
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1353044
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