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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


IZAZOLA-LICEA, José Antonio et al. Assessment of non-response bias in a probability household survey of male same-gender sexual behavior. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2000, vol.42, n.2, pp.90-98. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To assess non-participation bias in a survey of male sexual behavior. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A household survey was carried out in 19921993 using a probability sampling frame in Mexico City. Demographic variables were available for all eligible men. The extent of non-participation bias was estimated using a version of the Heckman method, which utilizes two equations, one to predict participation and the other to predict reports of same-gender sexual behavior. RESULTS: A total of 8 068 of the 13 713 eligible men completed a face-to-face questionnaire (response rate 59%); 173 men (2.1%) reported bisexual behavior in their lifetime, and 37 (0.4%) reported only male partners. Survey participation was predicted using demographic variables: 67% of the observations were correctly predicted by a probit regression model: 82% of participants and 53% of non-participants (pseudo-r2=0.13). Same-gender sexual behavior was predicted by variables indicating attachment to gay/bisexual social networks, history of sexually transmitted diseases, positive attitudes towards gay and bisexual males, and lack of support from male relatives. Ninety-seven per cent of the cases was correctly predicted by the probit model (pseudo-r2=0.14). The correlation between these two equations was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that prevalence estimates of same-gender sexual behavior among Mexico City men were not biased by selective survey participation. Careful selection and training of household interviewers may have assisted in minimizing potential bias.

Keywords : non-response bias; selection bias [evaluation]; health surveys; homosexuality, male; Mexico.

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