The National Center for Health Statistics’ 2015 and 2016 research and development surveys
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The National Center for Health Statistics’ 2015 and 2016 research and development surveys

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    Objective: This report provides a general description of the background and operation of the first two rounds of the Research and Development Survey (RANDS), a series of cross-sectional surveys from probability-sampled commercial survey panels. The Division of Research and Methodology of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) conducted the first two rounds of RANDS in 2015 and 2016. RANDS 1 and 2 are being used primarily for question design evaluation and for investigating statistical methodologies for estimation. Methods: NCHS contracted with Gallup, Inc. to conduct RANDS 1 in Fall 2015 and RANDS 2 in Spring 2016. RANDS 1 and 2 were conducted using a web survey mode and included survey questions from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) that were specifically chosen to provide comparison and evaluation of the survey methodology properties of web surveys and traditional household surveys. In this report, some demographic and health estimates are provided from both sources to describe the RANDS data. Results: In RANDS 1, 2,304 out of the original 9,809 invited panel members completed the survey, for a completion rate of 23.5%. In RANDS 2, 2,480 of the initial 8,231 invited respondents completed the survey, for a completion rate of 30.1%. RANDS 1 and 2 participants were similar to the quarterly NHIS participants with respect to sex, census region, and whether they had worked for pay in the previous week. Other characteristics varied, including age, race and ethnicity, and income. Most health estimates differed between RANDS and NHIS. Public-use versions of the RANDS data can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/rands. Conclusion: RANDS is an ongoing platform for research to understand the properties of probability-sampled recruited panels of primarily web users, investigating and developing statistical methods for using such data in conjunction with large nationally representative health surveys, and for extending question-design evaluations. He Y, Cai B, Shin H-C, Beresovsky V, Parsons V, Irimata K, et al. The National Center for Health Statistics’ 2015 and 2016 Research and Development Surveys. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 1(64). 2020. CS319894 sr01-64-508.pdf
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