Conference Programme 2015

Conference floor plans and map
Tuesday 14th July      Wednesday 15th July      Thursday 16th July      Friday 17th July     


Thursday 16th July, 16:00 - 17:30 Room: O-202

Effects of respondent incentives in Health Interview Surveys. Differences according to survey modes, incentive strategies and incentive values 1

Convenor Dr Elena Von Der Lippe (Robert Koch Institute )
Coordinator 1Mr Patrick Schmich (Robert Koch Insitute)
Coordinator 2Mr Matthias Wetzstein (Robert Koch Institute)

Session Details

Respondent incentives as one possible mean of raising response rates is broadly used in social science. It is often reported that the respondent incentives have different impact on various sub-population groups under study. Also, incentive effects vary according to the survey modes and strategies applied. Research shows that the value of the respondent incentives has to be well considered, as not always higher values lead to higher response rates.
The aim of this session is to gather and exchange experiences in applying incentive strategies in health interview surveys and also other population based surveys. One of the sample biases that are often faced in health interview surveys is the higher participation of respondents with high education level. Applying any incentive strategy would aim at reaching the population that otherwise is not willing to participate in health interview surveys.
We would like to welcome presentations dealing with the application of any kind of incentive strategies in health interview surveys, regardless of the survey mode used. In particular, we are interested in reporting: what kind of incentive strategies (e.g. monetary or non-monetary) show significant effects on the response rates; did the incentives have the same effects for different sub-population groups (e.g. urban/rural, young/old population); did the usage of incentives lead also to a better sample composition and reduction in the sample bias; what incentive strategies and values are balancing best between costs and effects?

Paper Details

1. Different Types of Incentives in Health Examination Surveys and the Effects on Survey Response. Findings from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS)
Mr Robin Houben (Robert Koch Institute)
Mr Panagiotis Kamtsiuris (Robert Koch Institute)

Background: The acceptance of participants into a survey may be the result of an individual cost-benefit consideration. The use of incentive leads to an increased personal gain and therefore, has a positive effect on the survey response.
Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to experimental or control groups. Different types of rewards and varying procedures of delivering to the participants were tested.
Results: The highest response (63%) was achieved with a priori incentives. Non-monetary incentives differed hardly from the control group.
Conclusions: Incentives may lead to an overall improvement of surveys. Preferences of the target group should be considered.



2. Testing different incentive strategies in a German Health Interview Survey
Mr Patrick Schmich (Robert Koch-Institute)
Mrs Elena Von Der Lippe (Robert Koch-Institute)
Mr Matthias Wetzstein (Robert Koch-Institute)

Offering an incentive to the respondents has been shown to increase the response rates in surveys. In this study different methods were tested in search for most cost-efficient procedure. Three different incentive groups were compared to a group without incentive. Lowest response rate had the non-incentive group (18,2%) followed by the group who received post stamps (20,3%). The lottery incentive reached 21,0% response rate and the 10 € voucher incentive 22,7%. Participation varied strongly across all age groups within each incentive group. It is worth to offer different incentives according to the age of respondents.


3. What is more effective - prepaid or promised incentives? An experiment in the German General Social Survey 2014.
Mr Michael Blohm (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
Mr Achim Koch (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

For our presentation we analyse data from an experiment conducted in the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) 2014. Target persons were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a) 10Euro conditional on participation, b) 10Euro prepaid incentive, independent of participation, and c) No incentive was provided. The response rate in the prepaid condition was considerably higher than in the promised condition and the no incentive group. In addition to reporting response rate differences we analyse the effect of the different incentives on sample composition and on fieldwork efforts. Finally we discuss some practical issues and the generalizability of the results.


4. Effects of respondent incentives on response rates in CINDI Health Monitoring Survey 2012
Mrs Tina Zupanič (National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), Slovenia)
Mrs Darja Lavtar (National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), Slovenia)

The “CINDI Health Monitoring Survey” is a periodic postal survey amongst adults in Slovenia. Approximately 15.000 individuals were included in nationally representative simple random sample in each of the four waves of the survey. The survey studies behavioural risk factors and chronic non-communicable diseases. From 2001 when response rate was 62.9 %, response rate has fallen down, and was only 49 % in 2008. Therefore, in 2012 different techniques were used to increase response rate (respondent incentives, etc.). In this article the effects of respondent incentives and additional survey mode on response rate in CINDI Survey will be presented.