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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Smock discusses the "new American family" on NPR

Pfeffer and colleagues re-examine impacts of community college attendance

Frey explains the minority-majority remapping of America

Highlights

Apply for 2-year NICHD Postdoctoral Fellowships that begin September 2015

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Michigan's graduate sociology program tied for 4th with Stanford in USN&WR rankings

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Dec 1
Linda Waite, Health & Well-Being of Adults over 60

Characteristics of Physical Measurement Consent in a Population-Based Survey of Older Adults

Publication Abstract

Sakshaug, Joseph W., Mick P. Couper, and Mary Beth Ofstedal. 2010. "Characteristics of Physical Measurement Consent in a Population-Based Survey of Older Adults." Medical Care, 48(1): 64-71.

Background: Collecting physical measurements in population-based health surveys has increased in recent years, yet little is known about the characteristics of those who consent to these measurements.

Objective: To examine the characteristics of persons who consent to physical measurements across several domains, including one's demographic background, health status, resistance behavior toward the survey interview, and interviewer characteristics.

Research Design, Subjects, and Measures: We conducted a secondary data analysis of the 2006 Health and Retirement Study, a nationally-representative panel survey of older adults aged 51 and older. We performed multilevel logistic regressions on a sample of 7457 respondents who were eligible for physical measurements. The primary outcome measure was consent to all physical measurements.

Results: Seventy-nine percent (unweighted) of eligible respondents consented to all physical measurements. In weighted multilevel logistic regressions controlling for respondent demographics, current health status, survey resistance indicators, and interviewer characteristics, the propensity to consent was significantly greater among Hispanic respondents matched with bilingual Hispanic interviewers, patients with diabetes, and those who visited a doctor in the past 2 years. The propensity to consent was significantly lower among younger respondents, those who have several Nagi functional limitations and infrequently participate in "mildly vigorous" activities, and those interviewed by black interviewers. Survey resistance indicators, such as number of contact attempts and interviewer observations of resistant behavior in prior wave iterations of the Health and Retirement Study were also negatively associated with physical measurement consent. The propensity to consent was unrelated to prior medical diagnoses, including high blood pressure, cancer (excluding skin), lung disease, heart abnormalities, stroke, and arthritis, and matching of interviewer and respondent on race and gender.

Conclusions: Physical measurement consent is not strongly associated with one's health status, though the findings are somewhat mixed. We recommend that physical measurement results be adjusted for characteristics associated with the likelihood of consent, particularly functional limitations, to reduce potential bias. Otherwise, health researchers should exercise caution when generalizing physical measurement results to the population at large, including persons with functional limitations that may affect their participation.

DOI:10.1097/MLR.0b013e3181adcbd3 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next