CAPI vs. ACASI: Does Mode Affect Underreporting?

Ting Yan

What is the rate of underreporting of miscarriage and abortion when respondents use computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) or audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI)? New research by Westat’s Ting Yan, PhD, and Roger Tourangeau, PhD, on this topic appears in Detecting underreporters of abortions and miscarriages in the National Study of Family Growth, 2011–2015, published in PLoS ONE.

Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), researchers discovered that respondents underreported abortion and miscarriage when interviewed via CAPI. A deeper dive into the data uncovered underreporting or misreporting of the 2 events differing somewhat by respondent age, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, number of children, and other factors.

“This research speaks to the importance of using a self-administration mode, such as ACASI or web, to collect data about sensitive survey topics,” notes Dr. Yan.

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