Adolescent sexual behavior, drug use, and violence: Increased reporting with computer survey technology
ABSTRACT Surveys of risk behaviors have been hobbled by their reliance on respondents to report accurately about engaging in behaviors that are highly sensitive and may be illegal. An audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (audio-CASI) technology for measuring those behaviors was tested with 1690 respondents in the 1995 National Survey of Adolescent Males. The respondents were randomly assigned to answer questions using either audio-CASI or a more traditional self-administered questionnaire. Estimates of the prevalence of male-male sex, injection drug use, and sexual contact with intravenous drug users were higher by factors of 3 or more when audio-CASI was used. Increased reporting was also found for several other risk behaviors.
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ABSTRACT: What participants think about the nature of a study might affect their behaviour and bias findings. We tested two hypotheses: (1) participants told they were in an intervention trial would report lower alcohol consumption at follow-up than those told they were in a cohort study; (2) participants told they were in the intervention group in a trial would have lower alcohol consumption at follow-up than those told they were in the control group. Students from four universities (N = 72,903) were invited to participate in a 'research project on student drinking'. Of 10,415 respondents, 6,788 were moderate to heavy drinkers and were randomized. Group A ('cohort') were informed their drinking would be assessed at baseline and again in one month. Group B ('control') were told the study was an intervention trial and they were in the control group. Group C ('intervention') were told the study was an intervention trial and they were to receive the intervention. All were assessed and directed to read identical online alcohol education material. Whether and how long they accessed the material were recorded. One month later, alcohol intake was reassessed. In relation to hypothesis 1, there were no differences between the groups on the prespecified outcome measures. In relation to hypothesis 2, there were no differences though all point estimates were in the hypothesized direction (that is, 'intervention' < 'control'). The 'cohort' and 'control' groups accessed the material to a similar extent (59% versus 57%) while the 'intervention' group were more likely to access it (78%) and to read it for longer (median 35 s (25th and 75th percentiles: 6, 97) versus medians of 7 s (0, 28) and 8 s (4, 42) for the 'cohort' and 'control' groups, respectively). Although the context given to the research participants significantly influenced access to the online information and reading time, this did not translate into any effect on drinking behaviour, for either hypothesis. This might be because of failure in the experimental paradigm or the possibility of weaker effects using the online approach. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000846022.Trials 03/2015; 16(1). DOI:10.1186/s13063-015-0642-0 · 2.12 Impact Factor
Journal of Affective Disorders 01/2015; 173:245-254. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Validated Internet-based screening tools for cannabis use and abuse are needed. The present study aimed to establish equivalence between the previously validated Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) as a paper-and-pencil (PaP)-administered questionnaire and its online use. Two groups of cannabis users took part in this study and the results were analyzed using structural equation modeling. One group consisted of 150 participants and was assessed with the ASSIST PaP questionnaire in a face-to-face interview (the PaP group). They were recruited from three settings: a primary health care outpatient clinic, a general psychiatric facility, and an ambulatory specialized addiction treatment facility. The other group (the Web group) comprised 1382 persons who answered the online version of the same questionnaire. This sample was drawn from people who naturalistically visited a website dedicated to helping people with cannabis addiction. The internal consistency was good for the online questionnaire (0.74) and high for the already validated PaP questionnaire (0.91). The Web group, however, had higher scores on cannabis use than did the PaP group. The results show support for configural invariance, meaning that the one-factor structure was preserved across groups, although measurement equivalence between these two survey modes was not achieved. However, when the Web group was split into two random subsamples, measurement invariance was demonstrated between them by cross-validation. Measurement equivalence was not achieved between the two survey modes. Nonetheless, subanalyses of the Web group demonstrated that the cannabis screening questions of the ASSIST can be used for online screening. Differences in ASSIST scores between samples may be due to the sensitive nature of the information surveyed, with possible underreporting in face-to-face interviews, or to the different characteristics of the Web group because of the specialized nature of the website.Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy 03/2015; 10(1):8. DOI:10.1186/s13011-015-0002-9 · 1.16 Impact Factor