The utility of online panel surveys versus computer-assisted interviews in obtaining substance-use prevalence estimates in the Netherlands

Renske Spijkerman*, Ronald Knibbe, Kim Knoops, Dike van de Mheen, Regina van den Eijnden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Aims

Rather than using the traditional, costly method of personal interviews in a general population sample, substance-use prevalence rates can be derived more conveniently from data collected among members of an online access panel. To examine the utility of this method, we compared the outcomes of an online survey with those obtained with the computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) method.

Design

Data were gathered from a large sample of online panellists and in a two-stage stratified sample of the Dutch population using the CAPI method.

Setting

The Netherlands.

Participants

The online sample comprised 57 125 Dutch online panellists (15-64 years) of Survey Sampling International LLC (SSI), and the CAPI cohort 7204 respondents (15-64 years).

Measurements

All participants answered identical questions about their use of alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and performance-enhancing drugs. The CAPI respondents were asked additionally about internet access and online panel membership. Both data sets were weighted statistically according to the distribution of demographic characteristics of the general Dutch population.

Findings

Response rates were 35.5% (n = 20 282) for the online panel cohort and 62.7% (n = 4516) for the CAPI cohort. The data showed almost consistently lower substance-use prevalence rates for the CAPI respondents. Although the observed differences could be due to bias in both data sets, coverage and non-response bias were higher in the online panel survey.

Conclusions

Despite its economic advantage, the online panel survey showed stronger non-response and coverage bias than the CAPI survey, leading to less reliable estimates of substance use in the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1645
JournalAddiction
Volume104
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • CAPI
  • drugs
  • methodology
  • non-response
  • online access panel
  • substance-use prevalence
  • web survey
  • MODE

Cite this

Spijkerman, Renske ; Knibbe, Ronald ; Knoops, Kim ; van de Mheen, Dike ; van den Eijnden, Regina. / The utility of online panel surveys versus computer-assisted interviews in obtaining substance-use prevalence estimates in the Netherlands. In: Addiction. 2009 ; Vol. 104, No. 10. pp. 1641-1645.
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abstract = "AimsRather than using the traditional, costly method of personal interviews in a general population sample, substance-use prevalence rates can be derived more conveniently from data collected among members of an online access panel. To examine the utility of this method, we compared the outcomes of an online survey with those obtained with the computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) method.DesignData were gathered from a large sample of online panellists and in a two-stage stratified sample of the Dutch population using the CAPI method.SettingThe Netherlands.ParticipantsThe online sample comprised 57 125 Dutch online panellists (15-64 years) of Survey Sampling International LLC (SSI), and the CAPI cohort 7204 respondents (15-64 years).MeasurementsAll participants answered identical questions about their use of alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and performance-enhancing drugs. The CAPI respondents were asked additionally about internet access and online panel membership. Both data sets were weighted statistically according to the distribution of demographic characteristics of the general Dutch population.FindingsResponse rates were 35.5{\%} (n = 20 282) for the online panel cohort and 62.7{\%} (n = 4516) for the CAPI cohort. The data showed almost consistently lower substance-use prevalence rates for the CAPI respondents. Although the observed differences could be due to bias in both data sets, coverage and non-response bias were higher in the online panel survey.ConclusionsDespite its economic advantage, the online panel survey showed stronger non-response and coverage bias than the CAPI survey, leading to less reliable estimates of substance use in the general population.",
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author = "Renske Spijkerman and Ronald Knibbe and Kim Knoops and {van de Mheen}, Dike and {van den Eijnden}, Regina",
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The utility of online panel surveys versus computer-assisted interviews in obtaining substance-use prevalence estimates in the Netherlands. / Spijkerman, Renske; Knibbe, Ronald; Knoops, Kim; van de Mheen, Dike; van den Eijnden, Regina.

In: Addiction, Vol. 104, No. 10, 2009, p. 1641-1645.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The utility of online panel surveys versus computer-assisted interviews in obtaining substance-use prevalence estimates in the Netherlands

AU - Spijkerman, Renske

AU - Knibbe, Ronald

AU - Knoops, Kim

AU - van de Mheen, Dike

AU - van den Eijnden, Regina

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - AimsRather than using the traditional, costly method of personal interviews in a general population sample, substance-use prevalence rates can be derived more conveniently from data collected among members of an online access panel. To examine the utility of this method, we compared the outcomes of an online survey with those obtained with the computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) method.DesignData were gathered from a large sample of online panellists and in a two-stage stratified sample of the Dutch population using the CAPI method.SettingThe Netherlands.ParticipantsThe online sample comprised 57 125 Dutch online panellists (15-64 years) of Survey Sampling International LLC (SSI), and the CAPI cohort 7204 respondents (15-64 years).MeasurementsAll participants answered identical questions about their use of alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and performance-enhancing drugs. The CAPI respondents were asked additionally about internet access and online panel membership. Both data sets were weighted statistically according to the distribution of demographic characteristics of the general Dutch population.FindingsResponse rates were 35.5% (n = 20 282) for the online panel cohort and 62.7% (n = 4516) for the CAPI cohort. The data showed almost consistently lower substance-use prevalence rates for the CAPI respondents. Although the observed differences could be due to bias in both data sets, coverage and non-response bias were higher in the online panel survey.ConclusionsDespite its economic advantage, the online panel survey showed stronger non-response and coverage bias than the CAPI survey, leading to less reliable estimates of substance use in the general population.

AB - AimsRather than using the traditional, costly method of personal interviews in a general population sample, substance-use prevalence rates can be derived more conveniently from data collected among members of an online access panel. To examine the utility of this method, we compared the outcomes of an online survey with those obtained with the computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) method.DesignData were gathered from a large sample of online panellists and in a two-stage stratified sample of the Dutch population using the CAPI method.SettingThe Netherlands.ParticipantsThe online sample comprised 57 125 Dutch online panellists (15-64 years) of Survey Sampling International LLC (SSI), and the CAPI cohort 7204 respondents (15-64 years).MeasurementsAll participants answered identical questions about their use of alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and performance-enhancing drugs. The CAPI respondents were asked additionally about internet access and online panel membership. Both data sets were weighted statistically according to the distribution of demographic characteristics of the general Dutch population.FindingsResponse rates were 35.5% (n = 20 282) for the online panel cohort and 62.7% (n = 4516) for the CAPI cohort. The data showed almost consistently lower substance-use prevalence rates for the CAPI respondents. Although the observed differences could be due to bias in both data sets, coverage and non-response bias were higher in the online panel survey.ConclusionsDespite its economic advantage, the online panel survey showed stronger non-response and coverage bias than the CAPI survey, leading to less reliable estimates of substance use in the general population.

KW - Alcohol

KW - CAPI

KW - drugs

KW - methodology

KW - non-response

KW - online access panel

KW - substance-use prevalence

KW - web survey

KW - MODE

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DO - 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02642.x

M3 - Article

VL - 104

SP - 1641

EP - 1645

JO - Addiction

JF - Addiction

SN - 0965-2140

IS - 10

ER -