Does Sequence Matter in Multi-Mode Surveys: Results from an Experiment.

TitleDoes Sequence Matter in Multi-Mode Surveys: Results from an Experiment.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWagner, J, Arrieta, J, Guyer, HM, Ofstedal, MBeth
JournalField methods
Date Published2014 May 01
ISSN Number1525-822X

Interest in a multi-mode approach to surveys has grown substantially in recent years, in part due to increased costs of face-to-face interviewing and the emergence of the internet as a survey mode. Yet, there is little systematic evidence of the impact of a multimode approach on survey costs and errors. This paper reports the results of an experiment designed to evaluate whether a mixed-mode approach to a large screening survey would produce comparable response rates at a lower cost than a face-to-face screening effort. The experiment was carried out in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), an ongoing panel study of Americans over age 50. In 2010, HRS conducted a household screening survey to recruit new sample members to supplement the existing sample. The experiment varied the sequence of modes with which the screening interview was delivered. One treatment offered mail first, followed by face-to-face interviewing; the other started with face-to-face and then mail. A control group was offered only face-to-face interviewing. Results suggest that the mixed mode options reduced costs without reducing response rates to the screening interview. There is some evidence, however, that the sequence of modes offered may impact the response rate for a follow-up in-depth interview.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Mixed Mode/Nonresponse/Survey research/multimode/Response Rate

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalField methods
Citation Key8024
PubMed ID24764767
PubMed Central IDPMC3992480
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States