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Omnibus Survey Household Survey Results Specific Methodology December 2000

Omnibus Survey
Household Survey Results
Specific Methodology
December 2000


Data collection for December 2000 Omnibus Household Survey began on December 6, 2000, and continued until December 12, 2000. Calls were placed between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local time in all regions of the country. Approximately 93 interviewers were trained for the study. Data were collected from households in the U.S. using a random-digit-dialed telephone survey method. The final data set includes 1,171 completed cases and a total of 170 variables. Battelle collected the data under contract with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

For this survey, 13,205 telephone numbers were purchased from Marketing Systems Group's (Ft. Washington, PA) GENESYS Sampling System. Of these, 8,000 were identified as working, residential telephone numbers and were divided into 16 replicates of approximately 500 households. Four of the sample replicates were not needed, resulting in 6,011 numbers being released for use by the telephone interviewers. For this survey, the total number of telephone numbers in the sampling frame was 246,870,500.

Response Rates

The procedure for response rate calculation is based on the guidelines established by the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO). The final response rate for the survey was obtained using the following formula:

Response rate equals completed household interviews divided by outer left parenthesis households in scope plus inner left parenthesis scope undetermined times left brace households in scope divided by households in and out of scope right brace inner right parenthesis outer right parenthesis

Distribution of household telephone numbers by disposition categories is presented in Table 1 below. The number of household cases in each category was then used in the above formula to calculate an overall response rate of approximately 26 percent.

Table 1. Distribution of Household Cases by Disposition Code

Household Level Results
Number of Telephone Numbers Released 6,011
Number of Out of Scope Numbers (ineligible) 1,295
Number of No Contact (Scope Undetermined) 1,095
Number of Households In scope 3,621
Number of Completes 1,171
Number of Partial Completes    44
Number of Language Problem   183
Number of Refusal 1,514
Number of Parental Refusal     0
Number of Respondent Identified, Case Not Finalized   324
Number of Unavailable During Study Period   145
Household Response Rate  26.4%

Follow-up efforts were limited to 15 call attempts to determine whether a telephone number was residential, an additional five attempts to identify an eligible respondent, and a final five attempts to secure a completed interview or refusal. Therefore, the maximum number of call attempts to any household was 25. Once contact was made with a household, follow-up attempts followed a loose callback schedule established at the initial contact. That is, good times and days to call back were requested at the initial contact, but follow-up calls also were attempted before these appointment times, unless otherwise told not to do so by the household. This allowed for the maximum number of attempts within the study period.

The December survey included refusal conversion interviews during December 10-12, 2000, to increase response rates. Ten highly experienced refusal conversion specialists attempted to complete the interview with 1,008 households that had previously refused to participate. From those attempts, 80 households completed the survey.


Prior to the start of actual data collection, a pretest was conducted to test the usability of the survey instrument. Particular focus was placed on testing questions that were new to the December survey. Qualified data collection and data preparation staff performed this pretest by first reviewing the questionnaire and then using it in simulated data collection situations. They looked for vague or confusing instructions, inconsistent questions or answer categories, incomplete or redundant sections, and poor pace, tone, flow, and format of questions. They also tested the interview length and determined that the survey questionnaire could be administered in approximately 15 minutes.

Pre-Contact Letter

No pre-contact letter was mailed for the December survey.