Evaluating Survey Quality in Health Services Research: A Decision Framework for Assessing Nonresponse Bias

Authors

  • Jonathon R. B. Halbesleben Ph.D,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Management & Marketing, Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
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  • Marilyn V. Whitman Ph.D

    1. Department of Management & Marketing, Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
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Address correspondence to Jonathon R. B. Halbesleben, Ph.D., Department of Management & Marketing, Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration, University of Alabama, Box 870225, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0225; e-mail: jhalbesleben@cba.ua.edu.

Abstract

Objective

To address the issue of nonresponse as problematic and offer appropriate strategies for assessing nonresponse bias.

Study Design

A review of current strategies used to assess the quality of survey data and the challenges associated with these strategies is provided along with appropriate post-data collection techniques that researchers should consider.

Principal Findings

Response rates are an incomplete assessment of survey data quality, and quick reactions to response rate should be avoided. Based on a five-question decision making framework, we offer potential ways to assess nonresponse bias, along with a description of the advantages and disadvantages to each.

Conclusions

It is important that the quality of survey data be considered to assess the relative contribution to the literature of a given study. Authors and funding agencies should consider the potential effects of nonresponse bias both before and after survey administration and report the results of assessments of nonresponse bias in addition to response rates.

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