Secondary analysis of national survey datasets

Authors

  • Sunjoo BOO,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Physiological Nursing
      Sunjoo Boo, Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0610, USA. Email: sunjoo.boo@gmail.com
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Erika Sivarajan FROELICHER

    1. Departments of Physiological Nursing
    2. Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Sunjoo Boo, Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0610, USA. Email: sunjoo.boo@gmail.com

Abstract

Aim:  This paper describes the methodological issues associated with secondary analysis of large national survey datasets.

Methods:  Issues about survey sampling, data collection, and non-response and missing data in terms of methodological validity and reliability are discussed.

Results:  Although reanalyzing large national survey datasets is an expedient and cost-efficient way of producing nursing knowledge, successful investigations require a methodological consideration of the intrinsic limitations of secondary survey analysis.

Conclusions:  Nursing researchers using existing national survey datasets should understand potential sources of error associated with survey sampling, data collection, and non-response and missing data. Although it is impossible to eliminate all potential errors, researchers using existing national survey datasets must be aware of the possible influence of errors on the results of the analyses.

Ancillary