Assessing the impact of using the web as a part of a mixed mode design for the Belgian Health Interview Survey [Webpilot]

Last updated on 16-3-2018 by Daisy Tysmans

Sciensano's project investigator(s):

In short

In the past decade, web surveys have gained significant popularity compared to paper or face-to-face surveys, as people tend to respond more easily to an online survey request than to other forms. When used in combination with other modes of data collection, it can lead to surveys with a higher response rate and more accurate results. Although, population surveys cannot rely on the web as the sole mode of data collection, yet web interviewing has many advantages. The Webpilot project evaluates the impacts of introducing web interviews in the Health Interview Survey (HIS) to supplement the traditional face-to-face interviews.

Project summary

In an effort to increase response rates and potentially reduce non-response bias, while keeping the overall-costs within limits, surveys are increasingly turning to mixed modes designs whereby questionnaires are administered in more than one mode including web, mail, telephone and/or face-to-face mode.

The current pilot project allows the Health Interview Survey (HIS) to explore the use of web-based questionnaire in the context of a mixed mode study in the aim of increasing the participation rate especially among young and mobile individuals.  The specific objective of this project is to evaluate and quantify the impact of shifting from a face-to-face and paper mode to a self-administered web mode in terms of the :

  1. content of the HIS 2018 questionnaire
  2. feasibility of developing and completing the web survey
  3. participation rate and
  4. quality and comparability of the estimates.

The findings of this pilot study will provide recommendations for future HIS to improve the quality of the data. This is an important endeavour as the HIS has been providing key information about the prevalence and patterns of public health problems in Belgium since 1997. Such information has been assisting in guiding interventions, tracking changes overtime, and supporting evaluation processes. The HIS provides therefore valuable information to support policy and practice on the national, regional and international levels. The current project will allow the HIS to better assist health policy.

Associated Health Topics

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