Mobile phone based interviews lead to more trustworthy and accurate answers than those given in more traditional spoken interviews

Great Thoughts — mHealth may well be the disruptive change our healthcare systems so desperately need

mHealth Insight

Mobiles have redefined what it means to listen mHealth

As people increasingly communicate via asynchronous non-spoken modes on mobile devices, particularly text messaging (e.g., SMS), longstanding assumptions and practices of social measurement via telephone survey interviewing are being challenged. In the study reported here, 634 people who had agreed to participate in an interview on their iPhone were randomly assigned to answer 32 questions from US social surveys via text messaging or speech, administered either by a human interviewer or by an automated interviewing system… …The key question was how the interview mode affected the quality of the response data, in particular the precision of numerical answers (how many were not rounded), variation in answers to multiple questions with the same response scale (differentiation), and disclosure of socially undesirable information. Texting led to higher quality data-fewer rounded numerical answers, more differentiated answers to a battery of questions, and more disclosure of sensitive information-than voice interviews, both with human…

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