Going web or staying paper? The use of web-surveys among older people [post]

Susanne Kelfve, Marie Kivi, Boo Johansson, Magnus Lindwall
2020 unpublished
Background: Many surveys today use a web-survey as an alternative to more traditional survey modes. Yet, web-surveys targeting older individuals are still uncommon for various reasons. However, with younger cohorts approaching older age, the potentials for web-surveys among older people might be improved. In this study, we investigated response patterns in a web-survey targeting older adults and the potential importance of offering a paper questionnaire as an alternative to the web
more » ... he web questionnaire. Methods: We analyzed data from three waves of a web-based retirement study, in which a paper questionnaire was offered as an alternative to the web questionnaire in the last reminder. We mapped the response patterns, compared web- and paper respondents and compared different key outcomes resulting from the sample with and without the paper respondents, both at baseline and after two follow-ups.Results: Paper-respondents, that is, those that did not answer until they got a paper questionnaire with the last reminder, were more likely to be women, low educated, fully retired, non-married and reported higher depression and lower self-rated health, compared with web-respondents. The association between retirement status and depression was only present among web-respondents. The differences between web and paper respondents were stronger in the longitudinal sample (after two follow-ups) than at baseline.Conclusions: We conclude that a web survey might be a feasible and good alternative in surveys targeting people in the retirement age range. However, without offering a paper questionnaire, a small but important group will likely be missing with potential biased estimates as the result.
doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-21136/v2 fatcat:ylk2oxfdm5gh5lxvwha4yibonu