Reliability and Acceptability of Automated Telephone Surveys Among Spanish- and English-Speaking Mental Health Services Recipients
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Interactive Voice Response (IVR), an automated system that administers surveys over the phone, is a potentially important technology for mental health services research. Although a number of studies have compared IVR to live interviews, few have looked at IVR in comparison to pencil-and-paper survey administration. Further, few studies have included subjects from those populations most likely to benefit from IVR technology, namely patients with lower education levels and non-English-speaking patients. This randomized clinical study, conducted at a community health center serving low-income English- and Spanish-speaking populations, assessed the reliability of an IVR-administered Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) relative to a paper-and-pencil version. The study was adequately powered. Results showed that patients gave similar responses to the IVR and paper-and-pencil surveys; in addition, patients were generally equally satisfied with both experiences. We conclude that, while more large-scale research is needed, IVR can be a useful survey administration tool.
KeywordsIVR telephone survey BSI satisfaction CAT
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