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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GARCIA-CONTINENTE, Xavier; PEREZ-GIMENEZ, Anna; LOPEZ, María José  and  NEBOT, Manel. Potential selection bias in telephone surveys: landline and mobile phones. Gac Sanit [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.2, pp.170-172. ISSN 0213-9111.

The increasing use of mobile phones in the last decade has decreased landline telephone coverage in Spanish households. This study aimed to analyze sociodemographic characteristics and health indicators by type of telephone service (mobile phone vs. landline or landline and mobile phone). Two telephone surveys were conducted in Spanish samples (February 2010 and February 2011). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to analyze differences in the main sociodemographic characteristics and health indicators according to the type of telephone service available in Spanish households. We obtained 2027 valid responses (1627 landline telephones and 400 mobile phones). Persons contacted through a mobile phone were more likely to be a foreigner, to belong to the manual social class, to have a lower educational level, and to be a smoker than those contacted through a landline telephone. The profile of the population that has only a mobile phone differs from that with a landline telephone. Therefore, telephone surveys that exclude mobile phones could show a selection bias.

Keywords : Telephone surveys; Selection bias; Socio-demographic characteristics; Health surveys.

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