Volume 48 | Number 2pt1 | April 2013

Abstract List

Grant R. Martsolf Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., Robert E. Schofield, David R. Johnson Ph.D., Dennis P. Scanlon Ph.D.


To demonstrate that different approaches to handling cases of unknown eligibility in random digit dial health surveys can contribute to significant differences in response rates.

Data Source

Primary survey data of individuals with chronic disease.

Study Design

We computed response rates using various approaches, each of which make different assumptions about the disposition of cases of unknown eligibility.

Data Collection

Data were collected via telephone interviews as part of the ligning orces for uality (4Q) consumer survey, a representative survey of adults with chronic illnesses in 17 communities and nationally.

Principal Findings

We found that various approaches to estimating eligibility rates can lead to substantially different response rates.


Health services researchers must consider strategies to standardize response rate reporting, enter into a dialog related to why response rate reporting is important, and begin to utilize alternate methods for demonstrating that survey data are valid and reliable.