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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X


FERREIRA, Aline Dayrell et al. Validity of data collected by telephone survey: a comparison of VIGITEL 2008 and 'Saúde em Beagá' survey. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2011, vol.14, suppl.1, pp. 16-30. ISSN 1415-790X.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the validity of the estimates obtained through telephone survey and to measure the impact of the post-stratification weighting factor to adjust estimates. METHODS: The same questionnaire was completed by two independent samples of the population living in the municipality of Belo Horizonte city (Barreiro and West regions). One sample (n=440) completed the questionnaire of VIGITEL 2008 (telephone survey), and the other (n=4,048) of Saúde em Beagá (face to face household interview). The results of the two samples for 18 health-related variables were compared by means of test statistics. At first, residents who had a landline telephone line were compared to those who reported not having a telephone line; then, VIGITEL estimates, with and without post-stratification weight, were compared with Saúde em Beagá estimates. RESULTS: Subjects who owned a landline telephone line had indicators for better economic conditions (housing, schooling, and skin color); higher prevalence of chronic diseases; lower exposure to risk factors for chronic diseases; and improved access to health services, compared to the those who reported not having a telephone line. Most VIGITEL estimates (without post-stratification weight) were similar to the sample of Saúde em Beagá that reported owning a residential landline, showing no major impact of the methodology to obtain this data (lower information bias). Even without post-stratification weight, VIGITEL estimates were similar to those of Saúde em Beagá. With post-stratification weight, the estimates of "number of residents", "skin color" and "physical activity" did not differ from those obtained by the face to face survey. CONCLUSION: The results of both surveys were very similar. Because of the lower cost, the telephone interview is a good option in public health for the behavioral risk-factor surveillance system.

Keywords : epidemiologic surveillance; chronic disease; health surveys; telephone.

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