Reaching the U.S. Cell Phone Generation: Comparison of Cell Phone Survey Results with an Ongoing Landline Telephone Survey
Posted: 18 Aug 2009
Noncoverage rates in U.S. landline-based telephone samples due to cell phone only households (i.e., households with no landline but accessible by cell phone) and the corresponding potential for bias in estimates from surveys that sample only from landline frames are growing issues. Building on some of the few published studies that focus on this problem, a study was conducted in three states (Georgia, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania) as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the world's largest ongoing public health telephone survey, to evaluate the effectiveness of conducting the BRFSS interview with a sample drawn from dedicated cell phone telephone exchanges and mixed-use (landline and cell phone) exchanges. Approximately 600 interviews were conducted in each of two groups: cell phone only adults (n = 572) and adults with both a landline and a cell phone (n = 592). Making comparisons with data from the ongoing, landline-based BRFSS survey, we report on response rates, demographic characteristics of respondents, key survey estimates of health conditions and risk behaviors, and survey costs. The methods used in this study have wide application for other U.S. telephone surveys.
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