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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Using Visual Analogue Scales in eHealth: Non-Response Effects in a Lifestyle Intervention
Source Journal of Medical Internet Research; 18, 6, pp. 1-9
Year 2016
Access date 19.07.2017

Background: Visual analogue scales (VASs) have been shown to be valid measurement instruments and a better alternative to Likert-type scales in Internet-based research, both empirically and theoretically [1,2]. Upsides include more differentiated responses, better measurement level, and less error. Their feasibility and properties in the context of eHealth, however, have not been examined so far.

Objective: The present study examined VASs in the context of a lifestyle study conducted online, measuring the impact of VASs on distributional properties and non-response.

Method: A sample of 446 participants with a mean age of 52.4 years (standard deviation (SD) = 12.1) took part in the study. The study was carried out as a randomized controlled trial, aimed at supporting participants over 8 weeks with an additional follow-up measurement. In addition to the randomized questionnaire, participants were further randomly assigned to either a Likert-type or VAS response scale version of the measures.

Results: Results showed that SDs were lower for items answered via VASs, 2P (Y ≥ 47 | n=55, P=.5) < .001. Means did not differ across versions. Participants in the VAS version showed lower dropout rates than participants in the Likert version, odds ratio = 0.75, 90% CI (0.58-0.98), P=.04. Number of missing values did not differ between questionnaire versions.

Conclusions: The VAS is shown to be a valid instrument in the eHealth context, offering advantages over Likert-type scales. The results of the study provide further support for the use of VASs in Internet-based research, extending the scope to senior samples in the health context.

Trial Registration: NCT01909349; (Archived by WebCite at

Year of publication2016
Bibliographic typeJournal article

Web survey bibliography (1211)