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Assessment of Non-Response Bias in Estimates of Alcohol Consumption: Applying the Continuum of Resistance Model in a General Population Survey in England

Boniface, S; Scholes, S; Shelton, N; Connor, J; (2017) Assessment of Non-Response Bias in Estimates of Alcohol Consumption: Applying the Continuum of Resistance Model in a General Population Survey in England. PLOS One , 12 (1) , Article e0170892. 10.1371/journal.pone.0170892. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown heavier drinkers are less likely to respond to surveys and require extended efforts to recruit. This study applies the continuum of resistance model to explore how survey estimates of alcohol consumption may be affected by non-response bias in three consecutive years of a general population survey in England. METHODS: Using the Health Survey for England (HSE) survey years 2011-13, number of contact attempts (1-6 and 7+) were explored by socio-demographic and drinking characteristics. The odds of drinking more than various thresholds were modelled using logistic regression. Assuming that non-participants were similar to those who were difficult to contact (the continuum of resistance model), the effect of non-response on measures of drinking was investigated. RESULTS: In the fully-adjusted regression model, women who required 7+ calls were significantly more likely to drink more than the UK Government's recommended daily limit (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.06-1.33, P = 0.003) and to engage in heavy episodic drinking (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.07-1.42, P = 0.004), however this was not significant in men in the fully-adjusted model. When the continuum of resistance model was applied, there was an increase in average weekly alcohol consumption of 1.8 units among men (a 12.6% relative increase), and an increase of 1.5 units among women (a 20.5% relative increase). There was also an increase in the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking of 2.5% among men (an 12.0% relative increase) and of 2.0% among women (a 15.8% relative increase), although other measures of drinking were less affected. CONCLUSION: Overall alcohol consumption and the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking were higher among HSE participants who required more extended efforts to contact. The continuum of resistance model suggests non-response bias does affect survey estimates of alcohol consumption.

Type: Article
Title: Assessment of Non-Response Bias in Estimates of Alcohol Consumption: Applying the Continuum of Resistance Model in a General Population Survey in England
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170892
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0170892
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Boniface et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1540778
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