Objective: In this paper we present lessons learned from an online study assessing couples' health behaviors. Methods: We conducted an online cross-sectional study to assess health behaviors of dual-smoker couples. Participants were recruited via passive and targeted
methods. Data were collected from 77 (pre-safeguard) and 197 (post-safeguard) participants. Safeguards included: (1) changing the incentive from prepaid card to raffle; (2) allowing only one IP address per response; (3) masking eligibility; (4) adding multiple questions to ensure consistency
in responses; and (5) emphasizing data surveillance. We computed descriptive statistics using SAS 9.4 to compare enrollment rates and validity of data between the pre- and post-safeguard participants. Results: Although 77 entries were collected within 24 hours (presafeguards), 5 responses
were ineligible and excluded. Among the remaining 72 entries, 68.1% were fraudulent as either multiple data entries (24.5%) and/or conflict in responses to similar survey items (83.7%). Once safeguards were administered (post-safeguards), data collection took longer to
obtain 297 participants, which included 27 ineligibles. Among the 270 eligible participants, 35.9% were fraudulent due to conflicting responses to similar survey items. Conclusion: Online data collection via surveys should use safeguards to capture valid data. Many safeguards exist, which researchers should consider when designing online survey projects.
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Document Type: Research Article
College of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. [email protected]
Publication date: 01 January 2017
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The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.
The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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