Comparing lay community and academic survey center interviewers in conducting household interviews in latino communities

Alec M. Chan-Golston, Scott Friedlander, Deborah C. Glik, Michael L. Prelip, Thomas R. Belin, Ron Brookmeyer, Robert Santos, Jie Chen, Alexander N. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The employment of professional interviewers from academic survey centers to conduct surveys has been standard practice. Because one goal of community-engaged research is to provide professional skills to community residents, this paper considers whether employing locally trained lay interviewers from within the community may be as effective as employing interviewers from an academic survey center with regard to unit and item nonresponse rates and cost. Methods: To study a nutrition-focused intervention, 1035 in-person household interviews were conducted in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, 503 of which were completed by lay community interviewers. A chi-square test was used to assess differences in unit nonresponse rates between professional and community interviewers and Welch’s t tests were used to assess differences in item nonresponse rates. A cost comparison analysis between the two interviewer groups was also conducted. Results: Interviewers from the academic survey center had lower unit nonresponse rates than the lay community interviewers (16.2% vs. 23.3%; p < 0.01). However, the item nonresponse rates were lower for the community interviewers than the professional interviewers (1.4% vs. 3.3%; p < 0.01). Community interviewers cost approximately $415.38 per survey whereas professional interviewers cost approximately $537.29 per survey. Conclusions: With a lower cost per completed survey and lower item nonresponse rates, lay community interviewers are a viable alternative to professional interviewers for fieldwork in community-based research. Additional research is needed to assess other important aspects of data quality interviewer such as interviewer effects and response error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Community survey
  • Data collection
  • Health surveys
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Survey methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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  • Cite this

    Chan-Golston, A. M., Friedlander, S., Glik, D. C., Prelip, M. L., Belin, T. R., Brookmeyer, R., Santos, R., Chen, J., & Ortega, A. N. (2016). Comparing lay community and academic survey center interviewers in conducting household interviews in latino communities. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 10(3), 435-442. https://doi.org/10.1353/cpr.2016.0050