ERIC Number: ED312558
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Representatives and Response Rates of a Follow-Up Sample for a Health Survey.
Ridley, Jeanne Clare; Gruber, Kerry Johnson
A crucial question in any study is how representative the sample is of the population being studied at the time of the interview. This is of particular concern when the study is based on a follow-up of a sample of respondents initially interviewed for other purposes. This study evaluated the representativeness of a sample of elderly female respondents (N=1,049) interviewed in 1978 by comparing the characteristics of the sample with the characteristics of a similar group included in the March 1987 Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the Bureau of the Census. The CPS was used since it is a larger sample than the one analyzed and estimates derived from the CPS are more stable and subject to less sampling error. The original sample was designed to represent white, ever married women born from 1901-1910. Of the original sample of 1,049 women, only 2.9 percent could not be located, with 29.3 percent having died and 6.1 percent residing in nursing homes. The total response rate for the 1987 follow-up sample was 79.4 percent with 589 interviewed of 742 eligible. The results indicated there were a number of strengths and weaknesses. Since the 1987 household sample was not as representative nationally by region and age as the 1978 sample was and underrepresented women in central cities, care will have to be taken in drawing inferences from it regarding health of elderly women and their social support networks. However, the results indicated that it is possible to successfully follow-up the elderly even after a relatively long period. The response rates obtained are impressive when compared with other studies involving the follow-up of respondents and indicates that longitudinal studies of the elderly can be successful. Further, the detailed data obtained on the health, functioning and social support of such a sample should make important contributions to future studies and lay the basis for developing better policies for an aging population. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (116th, Boston, MA, November 13-17, 1988).