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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Comparison of online and paper survey participation rates in a child health survey by parents of secondary school students
Year 2017
Access date 25.07.2017

Schools are a valuable setting for health research, particularly among adolescents. Parent participation in adolescent health research is important, as parental behaviour, opinions and the home environment context are determinants of adolescent health.Schools provide almost universal access to parents and so are one of few opportunities to recruit research participants from a sample frame representative of the population. Participation rates of parents recruited through schools is often low (between 58% and 77%).2Rates below 80% can increase the risk of non-response bias4 due to selective non-participation, affecting the precision of prevalence estimates and the generalisability of study findings.

While a number of studies and reviews have examined the impact of strategies to increase student participation in school-based health research, examination of efforts to maximise parental participation in research has been largely overlooked.To date, most school-based studies requiring parent participation have used pen and paper surveys requiring parents to complete them and return them in a replied paid envelope or via students. Offering a greater range of opportunities for survey completion may increase participation rates and reduce non-response bias. The completion of surveys online represents one low-cost alternative that may improve participation rates.

We are not aware of any studies comparing participation rates of parents of secondary school children across survey modalities. Additionally, the relationships between modality of survey completion and participant characteristics has not been examined. Such information is important to assess potential bias that might be introduced via different survey modalities.

This study was conducted to describe:

  • the participation rate of parents in a survey of adolescent health when given opportunities to complete by either pen and paper or online;
  • differences in the participation rate of surveys by modality;
  • differences in the characteristics of participants by modality.
Year of publication2017
Bibliographic typeJournal article

Web survey bibliography (8390)