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Differential response rates in postal and web-based surveys in older respondents

Unterschiedliche Antwortraten bei postalischen und webbasierten Untersuchungen bei älteren Befragten
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Bech, Mickael; Kristensen, Morton Bo

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Abstract "Response rates were compared across a postal and a web-based survey containing the same questions about preferences for future for the design of future nursing homes which were sent to a random sample of 10.000 individuals aged 50-75 years. The 10.000 individuals were randomly allocated to receive a postal questionnaire or a letter with a web link to an online version of the same questionnaire. The web-based survey gave a significantly lower response rate than the postal survey. The web-based version improved the sample representativeness with respect to gender but worsened the representativeness with respect to age. Respondents' characteristics in the web-based survey differed significantly from those of respondents in the postal survey with respect to income, education, civil status and health status. The web-based version improved data quality by significantly lowering the number of item non-response and 'don't know' answers. Respondents found it easier to answer the web-based survey. The cost per response was significantly higher for the web-based survey because of the significantly lower response rate compared to the postal survey." (author's abstract)
Keywords Denmark; elderly; survey; mail survey; Internet; website; response behavior; questionnaire; representativity; future; nursing home; data quality; cost-benefit analysis
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods; Research Design
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 1-6
Journal Survey Research Methods, 3 (2009) 1
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications