Random Sampling for a Mental Health Survey in a Deprived Multi-Ethnic Area of Berlin.
ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to assess the response to random sampling for a mental health survey in a deprived multi-ethnic area of Berlin, Germany, with a large Turkish-speaking population. A random list from the registration office with 1,000 persons stratified by age and gender was retrieved from the population registry and these persons were contacted using a three-stage design including written information, telephone calls and personal contact at home. A female bilingual interviewer contacted persons with Turkish names. Of the persons on the list, 202 were not living in the area, one was deceased, 502 did not respond. Of the 295 responders, 152 explicitly refused (51.5%) to participate. We retained a sample of 143 participants (48.5%) representing the rate of multi-ethnicity in the area (52.1% migrants in the sample vs. 53.5% in the population). Turkish migrants were over-represented (28.9% in the sample vs. 18.6% in the population). Polish migrants (2.1 vs. 5.3% in the population) and persons from the former Yugoslavia (1.4 vs. 4.8% in the population) were under-represented. Bilingual contact procedures can improve the response rates of the most common migrant populations to random sampling if migrants of the same origin gate the contact. High non-contact and non-response rates for migrant and non-migrant populations in deprived urban areas remain a challenge for obtaining representative random samples.