The Problem of Response Bias
Part of the
NATO ASI Series
book series (NSSA, volume 84)
Historically, there has been considerable concern about the problem of biased results in epidemiologic studies of volunteers because the sample is limited to persons willing to be evaluated (Friedman, 1974; Lilienfeld, 1976; MacMahon and Pugh, 1970; Mausner and Bahn, 1974). The realization that non-respondents might be quite different from respondents in certain critical characteristics has generated a free-floating uncertainty, since, by definition data is usually not available on non-respondents. Occasionally, however, investigators have attempted to gather data on identified non-respondents, usually by indirect means, such as data already recorded for other reasons, or by obtaining available subsequent information, such as cause of death on death certificates (Cobb, King, Chew, 1957; Doll and Hill, 1964; Gordon et al., 1959; Hammond, 1969; Heilbrun, Nomura, Stemmermann, 1982; Horowitz and Wilbeck, 1971; Wilhelmsen et al., 1976). Between 1972 and 1974, in a population study of over 5,000 older Rancho Bernardo, California, U.S. residents for cardiovascular disease, we directly contacted by telephone about 77 percent of the 1,103 non-respondents to our survey, and asked them questions concerning both risk factors for and the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. We did this simply to reassure ourselves that the non-respondents were not so markedly different as to invalidate the results of our subsequent analyses of the data.
KeywordsRisk Ratio Heart Attack Response Bias Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Risk Factor Category
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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© Plenum Press, New York 1985