Adjustment for survey non-participation using record linkage and multiple imputation: a validity assessment exercise using the Health 2000 survey

McMinn, M. A. , Martikainen, P., Härkänen, T., Tolonen, H., Pitkänen, J., Leyland, A. H. and Gray, L. (2021) Adjustment for survey non-participation using record linkage and multiple imputation: a validity assessment exercise using the Health 2000 survey. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, (doi: 10.1177/14034948211031383) (PMID:34396808) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Aims: It is becoming increasingly possible to obtain additional information about health survey participants, though not usually non-participants, via record linkage. We aimed to assess the validity of an assumption underpinning a method developed to mitigate non-participation bias. We use a survey in Finland where it is possible to link both participants and non-participants to administrative registers. Survey-derived alcohol consumption is used as the exemplar outcome. Methods: Data on participants (85.5%) and true non-participants of the Finnish Health 2000 survey (invited survey sample N=7167 aged 30-79 years) and a contemporaneous register-based population sample (N=496,079) were individually linked to alcohol-related hospitalisation and death records. Applying the methodology to create synthetic observations on non-participants, we created ‘inferred samples’ (participants and inferred non-participants). Relative differences (RDs) between the inferred sample and the invited survey sample were estimated overall and by education. Five per cent limits were used to define acceptable RDs. Results: Average weekly consumption estimates for men were 129 g and 131 g of alcohol in inferred and invited survey samples, respectively (RD –1.6%; 95% confidence interval (CI) –2.2 to –0.04%) and 35 g for women in both samples (RD –1.1%; 95% CI –2.4 to –0.8%). Estimates for men with secondary levels of education had the greatest RD (–2.4%; 95% CI –3.7 to –1.1%). Conclusions: The sufficiently small RDs between inferred and invited survey samples support the assumption validity and use of our methodology for adjusting for non-participation. However, the presence of some significant differences means caution is required.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMinn, Dr Megan and Gray, Dr Linsay and Leyland, Professor Alastair
Authors: McMinn, M. A., Martikainen, P., Härkänen, T., Tolonen, H., Pitkänen, J., Leyland, A. H., and Gray, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1403-4948
ISSN (Online):1651-1905
Published Online:14 August 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Inequalities in healthMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/2HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU17