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Socioeconomic differences in smoking in an urban Swedish population. The bias introduced by non-participation in a mailed questionnaire.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy. (Preventivmedicin)
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1993 (English)In: Scandinavian journal of social medicine, ISSN 0300-8037, Vol. 21, no 2, 77-82 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Stockholm Health of the Population Study is a cross-sectional study carried out from 1984-85. Postal questionnaires, telephone interviews and health interviews were used to get information from a sample of 5,199 persons, 18-64 years of age, on health status, risk exposures, healthcare consumption and social factors. Non-participation with respect to the postal questionnaire was 36.8%. With subsequent telephone interviews and an invitation to a health interview, non-participation was reduced to 17.8%. The estimated prevalence of daily smoking increased from 36.1% to 38.7. The non-responders had a higher prevalence of daily smoking in all sub-groups. This effect of the efforts to reduce non-participation differed socially. The prevalence of smoking for men, 40-64 years of age, who were reached by telephone was 60.3%. Male professionals and intermediate non-manual workers, 40-64 years of age reached by telephone had a prevalence of smoking, which was twice as high as for the responders of the questionnaire (62.5 and 26.8%, respectively). In the younger age-group, non-responders had the same socioeconomic pattern in smoking as the responders. Independent of socioeconomic group, there was a tendency of ill or disabled smokers to respond more quickly than healthy smokers. Using a postal questionnaire with a high non-response rate might lead to an overestimation of socioeconomic differences and an underestimation of smoking prevalence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1993. Vol. 21, no 2, 77-82 p.
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Medical and Health Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-170719PubMedID: 8367686OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-170719DiVA: diva2:509430
Available from: 2012-03-12 Created: 2012-03-12 Last updated: 2012-03-12

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