Too Many Blood Donors - Response Bias in the Swiss Health Survey 2012.

Volken, Thomas; Bänziger, Andreas; Buser, Andreas; Castelli, Damiano; Fontana, Stefano; Frey, Beat M; Sarraj, Amira; Sigle, Jörg; Thierbach, Jutta; Weingand, Tina; Mansouri Taleghani, Behrouz (2016). Too Many Blood Donors - Response Bias in the Swiss Health Survey 2012. Transfusion medicine and hemotherapy, 43(6), pp. 400-406. Karger 10.1159/000446815

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BACKGROUND Data on blood donor status obtained from general surveys and health interview surveys have been widely used. However, the integrity of data on self-reported blood donor status from surveys may be threatened by sampling and non-sampling error. Our study aimed to compare self-reported blood donors (including one-time as well as regular donors) from the Swiss Health Survey 2012 (SHS) with register-based blood donors recorded by blood establishments and evaluate the direction and magnitude of bias in the SHS. METHODS We compared population-weighted SHS point estimates of the number of blood donors with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals to the respective figures from blood donor registries (birth cohorts 1978-1993) and estimates of donors based on period donor tables derived from blood donor registries (birth cohorts 1920-1993). RESULTS In the birth cohorts 1978-1993, the SHS-predicted number of donors was 1.8 times higher than the respective number of donors based on registry data. Adjusting for foreign and naturalized Swiss nationals that immigrated after their 18th birthday, the SHS overall predicted number of donors was 1.6 times higher. Similarly, SHS estimates for the 1920-1993 birth cohorts were 2.4 and 2.1 times higher as compared to register-based estimates. Generally, the differences between SHS and register-based donors were more pronounced in men than in women. CONCLUSION Self-reported blood donor status in the SHS is biased. Estimates of blood donors are substantially higher than respective estimates based on blood donor registries.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Haematology and Central Haematological Laboratory

UniBE Contributor:

Mansouri Taleghani, Behrouz


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Katrin Kölliker-Schütz

Date Deposited:

20 Feb 2017 16:13

Last Modified:

08 Oct 2017 02:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Blood donation; Blood donor registry; Donors; Health survey; Response bias; Self-report / Mansouri Taleghani Behrouz




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