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Electronic telephone directory listings : preferred sampling frame for a population-based study of childhood cancer in Australia

Casarolli Valery, Patricia , Williams, Gail , McWhirter, William , Sleigh, Adrian , Scott, Debbie, & Bain, Chris (2000) Electronic telephone directory listings : preferred sampling frame for a population-based study of childhood cancer in Australia. Annals of Epidemiology, 10(8), pp. 504-508.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: We report our telephone-based system for selecting community control series appropriate for a complete Australia-wide series of Ewing's sarcoma cases.

METHODS: We used electronic directory random sampling to select age-matched controls. The sampling has all listed telephone numbers on an up-dated CD-Rom.

RESULTS: 95% of 2245 telephone numbers selected were successfully contacted. The mean number of attempts needed was 1.94, 58% answering at the first attempt. On average, we needed 4.5 contacts per control selected. Calls were more likely to be successful (reach a respondent) when made in the evening (except Saturdays). The overall response rate among contacted telephone numbers was 92.8%. Participation rates among female and male respondents were practically the same. The exclusion of unlisted numbers (13.5% of connected households) and unconnected households (3.7%) led to potential selection bias. However, restricting the case series to listed cases only, plus having external information on the direction of potential bias allow meaningful interpretation of our data.

CONCLUSION: Sampling from an electronic directory is convenient, economical and simple, and gives a very good yield of eligible subjects compared to other methods.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 32911
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: telephone, control selection, sampling, case control study, Australia, silent numbers
ISSN: 1047-2797
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Research Centres > National Centre for Health Information Research & Training
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Elsevier
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2010 07:11
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 04:20

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