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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Demographic Question Placement and Its Effect on Item Response Rates and Means of a Veterans Health Administration Survey
Year 2012
Access date 30.06.2012

There are various opinions about the most advantageous location of demographic questions in questionnaires; however, the issue has rarely been examined empirically. This study uses an experimental design and a large sample size to examine whether demographic question placement affects demographic and non-demographic question completion rates, non-demographic item means, and blank questionnaire rates using a web-based survey of Veterans Health Administration employees. Data were taken from the 2010 Voice of the Veterans Administration Survey (VoVA), a voluntary, confidential, web-based survey offered to all VA employees. Participants were given two versions of the questionnaires - one version had demographic questions placed at the beginning and a second version had demographic questions placed at the end of the questionnaire. Results indicated that placing demographic questions at the beginning of a questionnaire significantly increased item response rate for demographic items without affecting the item response rate for non-demographic items or the average of item mean scores. This research has implications for surveyors who, in addition to ensuring measure validity, set data collection goals to maximize response rates and minimize the number of missing responses. Therefore, it is important to determine which questionnaire characteristics affect these values. Results of this study suggest demographic placement is an important factor.

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Year of publication2012
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations