Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Shaefer and Edin's book ($2 a Day) cited in piece on political debate over plight of impoverished Americans

Eisenberg tracks factors affecting both mental health and athletic/academic performance among college athletes

Shapiro says Americans' low spending reflects "cruel lesson" about the dangers of debt

Highlights

Susan Murphy elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Maggie Levenstein named director of ISR's Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Arline Geronimus receives 2016 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award

PSC spring 2016 newsletter: Kristin Seefeldt, Brady West, newly funded projects, ISR Runs for Bob, and more

Next Brown Bag

PSC Brown Bags
will resume fall 2016

Context effects in survey ratings of health, symptoms, and satisfaction

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Stone, A.A., J.E. Broderick, J.E. Schwartz, and Norbert Schwarz. 2008. "Context effects in survey ratings of health, symptoms, and satisfaction." Medical Care, 46(7): 662-667.

Background: Survey self-reports of health status, symptoms (pain and fatigue), and life satisfaction often serve as outcomes in clinical trials. Prior studies have shown, however, that such reports can be subject to context effects, which could threaten their validity. Research Design: We examined the impact of 2 context effects: the effect of the reporting period associated with a question (No Period Specified; Last Month; Right Now) and the effect of whom the respondent compared themselves to in answering a question (None Specified; Compared with Others in the US; Compared with 20-Year-Olds). Results: One thousand four hundred seventy-one community adults aged 20 through 70 years, who were members of an internet panel, responded to I of 9 questionnaires formed by crossing the 2 context variables. A significant effect of Reporting Period was observed indicating that higher levels of Pain and Fatigue were associated with the I-Month reporting period. When no reporting period was specified, symptom levels were equivalent to the Right Now levels of symptoms. Reporting Period had no effect on the other outcomes. Educational level did not interact with these main effects, with I exception. None of the predicted effects were found for Comparison Group, although Pain was significantly associated with this factor. Conclusions: Reporting period in survey questions is a factor that influences responses and should be considered by survey researchers in their study designs.

PMCID: PMC2757262. (Pub Med Central)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next