211093 Assessing Data Quality of Cell Phone Random Digit Dial Surveys

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:40 PM

Frederica R. Conrey, PhD , ICF Macro, Burlington, VT
Randal S. ZuWallack, MS , ICF Macro, Burlington, VT
Objective: To compare the quality of data collected in health surveys conducted via cell phone with the data quality of landline surveys.

Methods: Data from the New Jersey Adult Tobacco Survey (NJATS) conducted in April through June, 2008 were used to compare the quality of cell phone and landline survey data. We measured the quality of the survey data collected in three ways:

Selected respondent attrition

Item non-response

Richness of responses to open ended questions

Results: Attrition from cell phone surveys was reliably greater than attrition from landline surveys. Controlling for demographic differences in the two samples, there was a small difference in the quality of the observed data as measured by item non-response, but there was no difference in the quality of responses given to open ends.

Conclusions: Conducting cell phone interviews is increasingly important to reaching critical population segments including young people and minorities, but, because of the mode of interview, the quality of data collected via cell phone may be lower. Strategies for mitigating this consequence of cell phone interviewing are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the difference in survey data quality for surveys conducted via landline and cell phone Describe approaches to promoting cell phone survey data quality

Keywords: Data/Surveillance, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Social Psychology from Northwestern University, 2004. Survey Methodologist with ICF Macro since September, 2008. I conducted the analyses presented in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.