No evidence of response bias in a population-based childhood cancer survivor questionnaire survey - Results from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Rueegg, Corina S; Gianinazzi, Micòl E; Michel, Gisela; Zwahlen, Marcel; von der Weid, Nicolas X; Kuehni, Claudia E; Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group, SPOG (2017). No evidence of response bias in a population-based childhood cancer survivor questionnaire survey - Results from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. PLoS ONE, 12(5), e0176442. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0176442

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PURPOSE This is the first study to quantify potential nonresponse bias in a childhood cancer survivor questionnaire survey. We describe early and late responders and nonresponders, and estimate nonresponse bias in a nationwide questionnaire survey of survivors. METHODS In the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we compared characteristics of early responders (who answered an initial questionnaire), late responders (who answered after ≥1 reminder) and nonresponders. Sociodemographic and cancer-related information was available for the whole population from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry. We compared observed prevalence of typical outcomes in responders to the expected prevalence in a complete (100% response) representative population we constructed in order to estimate the effect of nonresponse bias. We constructed the complete population using inverse probability of participation weights. RESULTS Of 2328 survivors, 930 returned the initial questionnaire (40%); 671 returned the questionnaire after ≥1reminder (29%). Compared to early and late responders, we found that the 727 nonresponders (31%) were more likely male, aged <20 years, French or Italian speaking, of foreign nationality, diagnosed with lymphoma or a CNS or germ cell tumor, and treated only with surgery. But observed prevalence of typical estimates (somatic health, medical care, mental health, health behaviors) was similar among the sample of early responders (40%), all responders (69%), and the complete representative population (100%). In this survey, nonresponse bias did not seem to influence observed prevalence estimates. CONCLUSION Nonresponse bias may play only a minor role in childhood cancer survivor studies, suggesting that results can be generalized to the whole population of such cancer survivors and applied in clinical practice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Rüegg, Corina Silvia; Michel, Gisela; Zwahlen, Marcel and Kühni, Claudia

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tanya Karrer

Date Deposited:

04 May 2017 09:50

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 17:37

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0176442

PubMed ID:

28463966

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.99637

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/99637

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