Reports of smoking in a national survey: data from screening and detailed interviews, and from self- and interviewer-administered questions.

National Opinion Research Center, USA.
Annals of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 2). 09/1998; 8(6):393-401.
Source: PubMed


This study compares responses to questions about smoking in a brief screening interview with those from a subsequent, more detailed interview; it also compares responses to self-administered questions and questions administered by interviewers. The data are from the 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA).
About 22000 respondents completed the main questionnaire of the 1994 NHSDA. Earlier, a member of each sample household had been asked to provide screening information, including smoking status, for each person in the household. Then, one or more persons in the household were interviewed about their own smoking and drug use; for some respondents, the questions about smoking were self-administered and for others they were administered by an interviewer. We examined discrepancies between reports about smoking from the screening data and main interview data; we also compared the results across the two versions of the main interview smoking questions (self and interviewer-administered).
The screening data produced lower estimated rates of smoking than did the main interview data, particularly when proxies provided the screening data. In the main interviews, self-administered questions produced higher estimates of the prevalence of smoking than interviewer-administered questions, but only for adolescents.
Proxies can provide some information about smoking, although the data are likely to be biased for younger age groups and for infrequent smokers. For adolescents, self-administration appears to elicit more candid reports about smoking than interviewer administration. In addition, multiple items may help to capture smoking reports by persons who are reluctant to admit they have smoked recently or whose status as smokers is unclear.

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    • "In addition, the closer the theme covered by the survey was to a theme considered sensitive by public opinion (such as violence or suicide), the higher the reported levels of alcohol use [63]. The results of another study suggested that the larger the number of questions with regard to a given theme, the greater the probability of obtaining a positive answer concerning a deviant behaviour on this theme [64]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that survey methodology can greatly influence prevalence estimates for alcohol and illicit drug use. The aim of this article is to assess the effect of data collection modes on alcohol misuse and drug use reports by comparing national estimates from computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) and audio-computer-assisted self interviews (A-CASI). Two national representative surveys conducted in 2005 in France by CATI (n = 24,674) and A-CASI (n = 8,111). French-speaking individuals aged [18]-[64] years old. Alcohol misuse according to the CAGE test, cannabis use (lifetime, last year, 10+ in last month) and experimentation with cocaine, LSD, heroin, amphetamines, ecstasy, were measured with the same questions and wordings in the two surveys. Multivariate logistic regressions controlling for sociodemographic characteristics (age, educational level, marital status and professional status) were performed. Analyses were conducted on the whole sample and stratified by age (18-29 and 30-44 years old) and gender. 45-64 years old data were not analysed due to limited numbers. Overall national estimates were similar for 9 out of the 10 examined measures. However, after adjustment, A-CASI provided higher use for most types of illicit drugs among the youngest men (adjusted odds ratio, or OR, of 1.64 [1.08-2.49] for cocaine, 1.62 [1.10-2.38] for ecstasy, 1.99 [1.17-3.37] for LSD, 2.17 [1.07-4.43] for heroin, and 2.48 [1.41-4.35] for amphetamines), whereas use amongst women was similar in CATI and A-CASI, except for LSD in the 30-44 age group (OR = 3.60 [1.64-7.89]). Reported alcohol misuse was higher with A-CASI, for all ages and genders. Although differences in the results over the whole population were relatively small between the surveys, the effect of data collection mode seemed to vary according to age and gender.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The TND sample was younger by more than a year, on average, than Add Health, and had a much larger proportion of African Americans and Hispanics than the nationally representative Add Health sample, because TND was designed to have as far as possible equal representation of the three major race/ethnic groups. Since decreased reporting of smoking and substance use is more common among younger than older adolescents, among minorities (particularly African Americans) than whites, and in interviewer-than self-administered interviews (Aquilino 1994; Brittingham, Tourangeau, and Kay 1998; Turner, Lessler, and Devore 1992 "
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    ABSTRACT: Extent and sources of inconsistency in self-reported cigarette smoking between self-administered school surveys and household interviews was examined in two longitudinal multiethnic adolescent samples, the urban Transition to Nicotine Dependence in Adolescence (TND) (N = 832) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) (N = 4,414). Inconsistency was defined as a positive report of smoking in school followed by a negative report in the household. Smoking questions were ascertained with paper-and-pencil instruments (PAPI-SAQ) in school in both studies, and computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) in TND but audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) in Add Health in the household. In TND, 23.5 percent of youths who reported smoking lifetime and 20.4 percent of those who reported smoking the last 12 months in the school survey reported in the household never having smoked; in Add Health, the latter was 8.6 percent. Logistic regressions identified five common correlates of inconsistency across the two studies: younger age, ethnic minority status, lesser involvement in deviant activities, having nonsmoking parents and friends. In TND, interviewing of youth and parent by the same interviewer increased inconsistent reporting. Matching the definition of inconsistent reporting and the age, gender and race/ethnic distributions of TND on an urban Add Health subsample reduced the predicted rate of inconsistency in TND. The estimated bias attributable to CAPI compared with ACASI methodology did not reach significance in the aggregated matched samples suggesting that irrespective of administration mode, household interviews decrease reporting of smoking, especially among younger, minority and more conventional youths embedded in a social network of nonsmokers.
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