An evaluation of a self‐generated identification code

Research in Nursing & Health (Impact Factor: 2.18). 03/2000; 23(2):167 - 174. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-240X(200004)23:2<167::AID-NUR9>3.0.CO;2-K

ABSTRACT We describe a self-generated coding form used in a study of HIV prevention practices of college students and provide information on the success rate of matching questionnaires over a 3-year period using the form. The data for this study were from a longitudinal study of HIV risk-reduction practices of college students. In order to match questionnaires over the 3-year study period while maintaining anonymity, participants were asked to complete a self-generated identification form at each data collection point. In the second year of the project, we were able to successfully match 74.3% of the questionnaires to those returned during the first year using 6 to 8 of the code elements on the form, and in the third year, we were able to match 73% of questionnaires to those returned in the second year. Participants for whom questionnaires matched were more likely than participants with unmatched questionnaires to be white students enrolled as underclassmen. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Res Nurs Health 23:167–174, 2000