A low response rate does not necessarily indicate non-response bias in gastroenterology survey research: A population-based study

Rok Seon Choung, G. Richard Locke, Cathy D. Schleck, Jeanette Y. Ziegenfuss, Timothy J. Beebe, Alan R. Zinsmeister, Nicholas J. Talley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: To estimate the potential for response bias in standard mailed questionnaires used in surveys of GI symptoms in a community. Subjects and methods: Validated self-report tools have been developed to measure functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders but response rates in community surveys have been rapidly declining in many parts of the world. Whether a lower community response rate introduces significant response bias in GI survey research is unknown. A questionnaire was mailed to a total of 5,069 randomly selected subjects. The overall response rate was 52 %. A random sample of 723 of these subjects (428 responders and 295 non-responders, stratified by age and gender) was selected for medical record abstraction (including both inpatient and outpatient history). Results: The odds for response increased in those with a higher body mass index (odds ratio (OR):1.02 [95 % CI: 1.01, 1.03]), more health care seeking behavior for non-GI problems (OR: 1.97 [95 % CI: 1.43, 2.72]), and for those who had responded to a previous survey (OR: 4.84 [95 % CI: 2.84, 8.26]). Responder status was not significantly associated with any GI symptoms or a diagnosis of GI or non-GI disease (with two exceptions, diverticulosis and skin disease). Conclusions: Despite a response rate of only 52 %, the results of a community-based GI survey do not appear to be impacted by non-response bias in a major way. A low survey response rate does not necessarily indicate non-response bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health (Germany)
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Fingerprint

Gastroenterology
Research
Population
Odds Ratio
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Surveys and Questionnaires
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Diverticulum
Skin Diseases
Self Report
Medical Records
Inpatients
Body Mass Index
Outpatients

Keywords

  • Bias
  • Gastrointestinal surveys
  • Population
  • Response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Choung, R. S., Locke, G. R., Schleck, C. D., Ziegenfuss, J. Y., Beebe, T. J., Zinsmeister, A. R., & Talley, N. J. (2013). A low response rate does not necessarily indicate non-response bias in gastroenterology survey research: A population-based study. Journal of Public Health (Germany), 21(1), 87-95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-012-0513-z

A low response rate does not necessarily indicate non-response bias in gastroenterology survey research : A population-based study. / Choung, Rok Seon; Locke, G. Richard; Schleck, Cathy D.; Ziegenfuss, Jeanette Y.; Beebe, Timothy J.; Zinsmeister, Alan R.; Talley, Nicholas J.

In: Journal of Public Health (Germany), Vol. 21, No. 1, 02.2013, p. 87-95.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Choung, Rok Seon ; Locke, G. Richard ; Schleck, Cathy D. ; Ziegenfuss, Jeanette Y. ; Beebe, Timothy J. ; Zinsmeister, Alan R. ; Talley, Nicholas J. / A low response rate does not necessarily indicate non-response bias in gastroenterology survey research : A population-based study. In: Journal of Public Health (Germany). 2013 ; Vol. 21, No. 1. pp. 87-95.
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