Journal Article

Helpful reminders? Health survey participation and doctor's visits

Caputo, J., Dańko, M. J., Brønnum-Hansen, H., Oksuzyan, A.
Survey Research Methods (2020), forthcoming

Abstract

Objectives: There is growing concern about how participating in longitudinal studies affects participants. However, assessments of survey participation effects on objectively measured behaviors are scarce. This study addresses this gap by assessing whether there is a relationship between participating in a longitudinal survey and respondents’ registered doctor’s visits.
Methods: We used register-linked data from the Danish part of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, a biennial panel survey of adults aged 50+, to assess whether survey participation is associated with changes in self-reported and actual doctor’s visits.
Results: Age-related increases in neither self-reported nor register-recorded doctor’s visits significantly differed by survey participation.
Discussion: Our findings add to literature about survey participation effects, suggesting that they may not be present for either self-reported or objective measures of this important health behavior.

Keywords: Denmark, health surveys, longitudinal analysis, population registers, primary health care
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.