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Deployment of a Mixed-Mode Data Collection Strategy Does Not Reduce Nonresponse Bias in a General Population Health Survey

Authors

  • Timothy J. Beebe Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Survey Research Center, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
    • Division of Health Care Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
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  • Donna D. McAlpine Ph.D.,

    1. Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
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  • Jeanette Y. Ziegenfuss Ph.D,

    1. Division of Health Care Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
    2. Survey Research Center, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
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  • Sarah Jenkins M.S.,

    1. Survey Research Center, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
    2. Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
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  • Lindsey Haas B.A.,

    1. Division of Health Care Policy and Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
    2. Survey Research Center, Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
    3. Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
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  • Michael E. Davern Ph.D.

    1. Department of Public Health Research, NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
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Address correspondence to Timothy J. Beebe, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Health Services Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905; e-mail: beebe.timothy@mayo.edu.

Abstract

Objective

To assess nonresponse bias in a mixed-mode general population health survey.

Data Sources

Secondary analysis of linked survey sample frame and administrative data, including demographic and health-related information.

Study Design

The survey was administered by mail with telephone follow-up to nonrespondents after two mailings. To determine whether an additional mail contact or mode switch reduced nonresponse bias, we compared all respondents (N = 3,437) to respondents from each mailing and telephone respondents to the sample frame (N = 6,716).

Principal Findings

Switching modes did not minimize the under-representation of younger people, nonwhites, those with congestive heart failure, high users of office-based services, and low-utilizers of the emergency room but did reduce the over-representation of older adults.

Conclusions

Multiple contact and mixed-mode surveys may increase response rates, but they do not necessarily reduce nonresponse bias.

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