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Omnibus Survey Household Survey Results Specific Methodology January 2001

Omnibus Survey
Household Survey Results
Specific Methodology
January 2001


Data collection for January 2001 Omnibus Household Survey began on January 10, 2001, and continued until January 16, 2001. Calls were placed between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local time in all regions of the country. Approximately 78 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 1,166 completed cases and a total of 178 variables. Battelle collected the data under contract with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

For this survey, 13,063 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. Six of the sample replicates were not needed, resulting in 4,996 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 32 percent.

Table 1. Distribution of Household Cases by Disposition Code

Household Level Results
Number of Telephone Numbers Released 4,996
Number of Out of Scope Numbers (ineligible) 1,154
Number of No Contact (Scope Undetermined)   780
Number of Households In scope 3,062
Number of Completes 1,166
Number of Partial Completes    48
Number of Language Problem   141
Number of Not Screened   218
Number of Refusal 1,118
Number of Parental Refusal     0
Number of Respondent Identified, Case Not Finalized   267
Number of Unavailable During Study Period   104
Household Response Rate  32.1%

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 January survey included refusal conversion interviews during January 14-16, 2001, to increase response rates. Twelve highly experienced refusal conversion specialists attempted to complete the interview with 1,068 households that had previously refused to participate. From those attempts, 148 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 January 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

For the January Household Survey a pre-contact letter was introduced into the study protocol. Address information matching the sampled telephone numbers was purchased from the GENESYS Sampling System for approximately 46% 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.