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International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 62, Issue 8, pp 949–957 | Cite as

Sample substitution can be an acceptable data-collection strategy: the case of the Belgian Health Interview Survey

  • Stefaan Demarest
  • Geert Molenberghs
  • Johan Van der Heyden
  • Lydia Gisle
  • Herman Van Oyen
  • Sandrine de Waleffe
  • Guido Van Hal
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

Substitution of non-participating households is used in the Belgian Health Interview Survey (BHIS) as a method to obtain the predefined net sample size. Yet, possible effects of applying substitution on response rates and health estimates remain uncertain. In this article, the process of substitution with its impact on response rates and health estimates is assessed.

Methods

The response rates (RR)—both at household and individual level—according to the sampling criteria were calculated for each stage of the substitution process, together with the individual accrual rate (AR). Unweighted and weighted health estimates were calculated before and after applying substitution.

Results

Of the 10,468 members of 4878 initial households, 5904 members (RRind: 56.4%) of 2707 households (RRhh: 55.5%) participated. For the three successive (matched) substitutes, the RR dropped to 45%. The composition of the net sample resembles the one of the initial samples. Applying substitution did not produce any important distorting effects on the estimates.

Conclusions

Applying substitution leads to an increase in non-participation, but does not impact the estimations.

Keywords

Health survey Non-response Sampling Matched substitution 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The BHIS is a project conducted in collaboration with Statistics Belgium, responsible for drawing the sample and the fieldwork management.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no competing interest.

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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefaan Demarest
    • 1
  • Geert Molenberghs
    • 2
  • Johan Van der Heyden
    • 1
  • Lydia Gisle
    • 1
  • Herman Van Oyen
    • 1
  • Sandrine de Waleffe
    • 3
  • Guido Van Hal
    • 4
  1. 1.Scientific Institute of Public HealthBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Hasselt UniversityKU Leuven LeuvenHasselt, LeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Statistics BelgiumBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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