Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.26, No.3, 2010. pp. 507533

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Using Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing and Interactive Voice Response to Measure Elder Mistreatment in Older Adults: Feasibility and Effects on Prevalence Estimates

Demographic trends indicate an aging population, highlighting the importance of collecting valid survey data from older adults. One potential issue when surveying older adults is use of technology to collect data on sensitive topics. Survey technologies like A-CASI and IVR have not been used with older adults to measure elder mistreatment. We surveyed 903 adults age 60 and older in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (U.S.) with random assignment to one of four survey modes: (1) CAPI, (2) A-CASI, (3) CATI, and (4) IVR. We assessed financial, psychological, and physical mistreatment, and examined feasibility of A-CASI and IVR, and effects on prevalence estimates relative to CAPI and CATI. Approximately 83% of elders randomized to A-CASI/IVR used each technology, although 28% of respondents in the A-CASI condition refused to use headphones and read the questions instead. A-CASI produced higher six-month prevalence rates of financial and psychological mistreatment than CAPI. IVR produced higher six-month prevalence rates of psychological mistreatment than CATI. We conclude that, while IVR may be useful, A-CASI offers a more promising approach to the measurement of elder mistreatment.

Mode effects, sensitive topics, older adults, A-CASI, IVR

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