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Does response propensity bias stress audits?

Bridger, R. S ; Fisher, I ; Dobson, K ; Wattie, S. C

Occupational Medicine, 2016, Vol. 66(6), pp.478-482 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Does response propensity bias stress audits?
  • Author: Bridger, R. S ; Fisher, I ; Dobson, K ; Wattie, S. C
  • Description: BACKGROUND: Non-response bias in surveys occurs when non-respondents differ from respondents. Methods of dealing with this include measuring 'response propensity'. We propose that response propensity has a trait-like component, measurable within the survey. Covariance of this component with survey items could indicate non-response bias.AIMS: To measure and validate trait-like response propensity, to test whether it co-varied with survey items during a routine stress audit and to test whether a prior staff attitude survey may have been biased.METHODS: Stress survey sent to government employees during a routine audit. We designed two new items to measure trait-like response propensity and completion of a prior staff survey. We calculated an odds ratio, correlations and Mann-Whitney U-tests to assess relationships between trait response propensity, completion of the prior staff survey and current stress survey scores.RESULTS: There were 71 respondents; response rate 68%. The trait response propensity item predicted completion of a prior staff survey (odds ratio 8.75, 95% confidence interval 2.32-33.08). Trait response propensity significantly correlated with two of the 40 survey items and did not significantly correlate with any of the eight 'stressor' sub-scales. Non-respondents to the prior staff survey had a significantly lower risk of stress on two of the eight stressor scales.CONCLUSIONS: Trait response propensity seems to be a valid construct. The weight of evidence does not provide an indication of non-response bias (yet neither does it assure freedom from non-response bias). The prior staff survey may have been affected by non-response bias.
  • Is Part Of: Occupational Medicine, 2016, Vol. 66(6), pp.478-482
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0962-7480 ; E-ISSN: 1471-8405 ; DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqw056
  • Subjects: Non - Response Bias ; Occupational Stress ; Questionnaire Surveys.

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