Utility of telephone survey methods in population-based health studies of older adults: an example from the Alberta Older Adult Health Behavior (ALERT) study

Vallance, Jeff K., Eurich, Dean T., Gardiner, Paul A., Taylor, Lorian M., Stevens, Gillian and Johnson, Steven T. (2014) Utility of telephone survey methods in population-based health studies of older adults: an example from the Alberta Older Adult Health Behavior (ALERT) study. BMC Public Health, 14 1: 486.1-486.8. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-486


Author Vallance, Jeff K.
Eurich, Dean T.
Gardiner, Paul A.
Taylor, Lorian M.
Stevens, Gillian
Johnson, Steven T.
Title Utility of telephone survey methods in population-based health studies of older adults: an example from the Alberta Older Adult Health Behavior (ALERT) study
Journal name BMC Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2458
Publication date 2014-05-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-14-486
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 14
Issue 1
Start page 486.1
End page 486.8
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Collection year 2015
Subject 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Formatted abstract
Background: Random digit dialing is often used in public health research initiatives to accrue and establish a study sample; however few studies have fully described the utility of this approach. The primary objective of this paper was to describe the implementation and utility of using random digit dialing and Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) for sampling, recruitment and data collection in a large population-based study of older adults [Alberta Older Adult Health Behavior (ALERT) study].

Methods: Using random digit dialing, older adults (> = 55 years) completed health behavior and outcome and demographic measures via CATI. After completing the CATI, participants were invited to receive a step pedometer and waist circumference tape measure via mail to gather objectively derived ambulatory activity and waist circumference assessments.

Results: Overall, 36,000 telephone numbers were called of which 7,013 were deemed eligible for the study. Of those, 4,913 (70.1%) refused to participate in the study and 804 (11.4%) participants were not included due to a variety of call dispositions (e.g., difficult to reach, full quota for region). A total of 1,296 participants completed telephone interviews (18.5% of those eligible and 3.6% of all individuals approached). Overall, 22.8% of households did not have an age 55+ resident and 13.6% of individuals refused to participate, Average age was 66.5 years, and 43% were male. A total of 1,081 participants (83.4%) also submitted self-measured ambulatory activity (i.e., via step pedometer) and anthropometric data (i.e., waist circumference). With the exception of income (18.7%), the rate of missing data for demographics, health behaviors, and health measures was minimal (<1%).

Conclusions: Older adults are willing to participate in telephone-based health surveys when randomly contacted. Researchers can use this information to evaluate the feasibility and the logistics of planned studies using a similar population and study design.
Keyword Computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI)
Health behavior
Older adults
Random digit dialing
Response rate
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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