Health Survey Expands To Include Cell Phone Users
The California Health Interview Survey in September will begin contacting 4,000 state residents who use only cell phones to collect more health information from a demographic that could be underreported, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"The implications are that if we do not include people with cell phones only, then we are likely to be underreporting uninsurance rates, and we're likely to underreport smoking prevalence rates in the states," David Grant, survey director, said.
The biannual health survey polls more than 42,000 of the state's 12 million households on issues such as smoking and drinking habits, and health insurance status. The survey is meant to "drive decision-making" and recommendations for the Legislature or governor, Sandra Shewry, director of the Department of Health Care Services, said.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is conducting the survey, which will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more than previous years because cell phone users will be paid $25 for completing the half-hour survey to compensate them for their air time, Grant said. Landline survey participants will not be paid.
Grant estimates that pollsters will have to call about 4,000 cell phone users to reach a survey sample of 1,000 because of lower cell phone response rates (Abdollah, Los Angeles Times, 7/23).