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Non-response in a cross-sectional study of respiratory health in Norway

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare R. Abrahamsen
M. V. Svendsen
P. K. Henneberger
G. F. Gundersen
Kjell Torén
J. Kongerud
A. K. M. Fell
Publicerad i Bmj Open
Volym 6
Nummer/häfte 1
ISSN 2044-6055
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa, enheten för arbets-och miljömedicin
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009...
Ämnesord FOLLOW-UP, OCCUPATIONAL-EXPOSURE, POSTAL QUESTIONNAIRE, ASTHMA, SYMPTOMS, BIAS, PREVALENCE, VALIDITY, SWEDEN, ADULTS
Ämneskategorier Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin

Sammanfattning

Objectives: Declining participation in epidemiological studies has been reported in recent decades and may lead to biased prevalence estimates and selection bias. The aim of the study was to identify possible causes and effects of non-response in a population-based study of respiratory health in Norway. Design: The Telemark study is a longitudinal study that began with a cross-sectional survey in 2013. Setting: In 2013, a random sample of 50 000 inhabitants aged 16-50 years, living in Telemark county, received a validated postal questionnaire. The response rate was 33%. In this study, a random sample of 700 non-responders was contacted first by telephone and then by mail. Outcome measures: Response rates, prevalence and OR of asthma and respiratory symptoms based on exposure to vapours, gas, dust or fumes (VGDF) and smoking. Causes of non-response. Results: A total of 260 non-responders (37%) participated. Non-response was associated with younger age, male sex, living in a rural area and past smoking. The prevalence was similar for responders and non-responders for physician-diagnosed asthma and several respiratory symptoms. The prevalence of chronic cough and use of asthma medication was overestimated in the Telemark study, and adjusted prevalence estimates were 17.4% and 5%, respectively. Current smoking was identified as a risk factor for respiratory symptoms among responders and non-responders, while occupational VGDF exposure was a risk factor only among responders. The Breslow-Day test detected heterogeneity between productive cough and occupational VGDF exposure among responders. Conclusions: The Telemark study provided valid estimates for physician-diagnosed asthma and several respiratory symptoms, while it was necessary to adjust prevalence estimates for chronic cough and use of asthma medication. Reminder letters had little effect on risk factor associations. Selection bias should be considered in future investigations of the relationship between respiratory outcomes and exposures.

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