A randomized comparison of A-CASI and phone interviews to assess STD/HIV-related risk behaviors in teens

Jonathan M. Ellen, Jill E. Gurvey, Lauri Pasch, Jeanne Tschann, Joy P. Nanda, Joe Catania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To compare response bias associated with a telephone survey of sexually transmitted disease/human immunodeficiency virus (STD/HIV)-related risk behaviors and an in-home self-administered audio computer assisted self interview (A-CASI). Methods: We randomly assigned an urban household sample of 223 African-American adolescents to a telephone interview or an A-CASI in their home. The sample was previously recruited by telephone for an earlier study regarding STDs and sexual behavior. We queried participants about their STD/HIV-related risk behaviors. We also assessed their perceived comfort, honesty, and accuracy in answering questions in the different modes through a telephone computer-assisted self-interview (T-CASI). Results: There were no significant differences by mode in percentages of participants reporting STD/HIV-related risk behaviors, except more A-CASI participants reported having engaged in sexual intercourse in past 3 months (43.8% vs. 33.3%). There were no differences in perceived comfort, honesty, and accuracy in answering questions in the different modes. These results also did not change after we adjusted for age, household structure, and current school enrollment. Conclusions: Telephone interviews, a more economical mode, can be employed without much risk of increasing the response bias in the data assessing crude measures of risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2 2002



  • Adolescents
  • HIV-risk behavior
  • Survey methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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