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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Comparison of telephone with World Wide Web-based responses by parents and teens to a follow-up survey after injury


Rivara FP, Koepsell TD, Wang J, Durbin D, Jaffe KM, Vavilala M, Dorsch A, Roper-Caldbeck M, Houseknecht E, Temkin N



Publication Info:

Health Services Research, 46(3):964-981


OBJECTIVE: To identify sociodemographic factors associated with completing a follow-up survey about health status on the web versus by telephone, and to examine differences in reported health-related quality of life by method of response. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTINGS: Survey about child health status of 896 parents of children aged 0-17 years treated in a hospital emergency department or admitted for a traumatic brain injury or arm injury, and 227 injured adolescents aged 14-17 years.
STUDY DESIGN: The main outcomes were characteristics of those who completed a follow-up survey on the web versus by telephone and health-related quality of life by method of response.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Email addresses were provided by 76.9 percent of parents and 56.5 percent of adolescents at baseline. The survey was completed on the web by 64.9 percent of parents and 40.2 percent of adolescents through email. Parents with email access who were Blacks, Hispanics, had lower incomes, and those who were not working were less likely to choose the web mode for completing the survey. Unlike adolescents, the amount of time for parents to complete the survey online was significantly shorter than completion by telephone. Differences by survey mode were small but statistically significant in some of the six functional outcome measures examined.
CONCLUSIONS: Survey mode was associated with several sociodemographic characteristics. Sole use of web surveys could provide biased data.

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