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Omnibus Survey Household Survey Results Specific Methodology February 2001

Omnibus Survey
Household Survey Results
Specific Methodology
February 2001


Data collection for the February 2001 Omnibus Household Survey began on February 7, 2001, and continued until February 13, 2001. Calls were placed between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local time in all regions of the country. Approximately 67 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 1,056 completed cases and a total of 182 variables. Battelle collected the data under contract with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

For this survey, 11,755 telephone numbers were purchased from Marketing Systems Group's (Ft. Washington, PA) GENESYS Sampling System. Of these, 7,000 were identified as working, residential telephone numbers and were divided into 14 replicates of approximately 500 households. Four of the sample replicates were not needed, resulting in 5,000 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 29 percent.

Table 1. Distribution of Household Cases by Disposition Code

Household Level Results
Number of Telephone Numbers Released 5,000
Number of Out of Scope Numbers (ineligible) 1,153
Number of No Contact (Scope Undetermined)   886
Number of Household In scope 2,961
Number of Completes 1,056
Number of Partial Completes    63
Number of Language Problem   148
Number of Refusal 1,064
Number of Parental Refusal     0
Number of Respondent Identified, Case Not Finalized   292
Number of Unavailable During Study Period   116
Household Response Rate  29.3%

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 making the maximum number of attempts within the study period.

The February survey included refusal conversion interviews during February 11-13, 2001, to increase response rates. Fourteen highly experienced refusal conversion specialists attempted to complete the interview with 967 households that had previously refused to participate. From those attempts, 117 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 February 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 16 minutes.

Pre-Contact Letter

For the February Household Survey a pre-contact letter was included in the study protocol. Address information matching the sampled telephone numbers was purchased from the GENESYS Sampling System for approximately 47% of the sample. A letter introducing the survey was then mailed to each of these addresses about five days before telephone interviews were conducted. The letter explained the procedures of the survey, encouraged participation, and was endorsed by Dr. Ashish Sen, Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.