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

Keywords: Health survey methods;mixed-mode survey;mailed survey;telephone survey;nonresponse bias

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

Data Source. 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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