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Maintaining and Enhancing Representativeness of State Health Surveys (Survey Practice)

April 1, 2011

CHIS Journal Article

Authors: David Grant, PhD, Susan Scott, J. Michael Brick

U.S. telephone survey response rates have declined over the last 20 years. How then do health surveys like the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) ensure that the data they collect remain representative? In an article in the journal Survey Practice, staff from CHIS and the National Cancer Institute (an important funder of CHIS) describe a range of methods employed to maintain representativeness, including collecting and expanding a cell phone sample, offering small, prepaid cash incentives to survey participants, as well as mix-mode administration approaches, such as both calling and mailing the survey. Although challenges accompany each of these methods, CHIS has been able to maintain and even enhance its response rate in recent years as a result of its willingness to test these and other new techniques.

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