Helpful Reminders? Health Survey Participation and Doctor’s Visits among Aging Adults

  • Jennifer Caputo Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
  • Maciej Danko
  • Henrik Brønnum-Hansen
  • Anna Oksuzyan
Keywords: Doctor’s/physician’s visits, survey participation, health behavior, panel conditioning


Objectives: Longitudinal surveys are an important source of information about the health of aging populations. While there is growing concern about how participating in these studies affects participants, assessments of survey participation effects on objectively measured behaviors are scarce. Methods: We used register-linked data from the Danish component of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, a rotating, biennial panel survey of adults aged 50+, to assess whether survey participation is associated with changes in self-reported and actual doctor’s visits. New respondents were added during the second wave, allowing us to compare doctor’s visits between groups who entered the survey at different times. Results: Age-related increases in neither self-reported nor register-recorded doctor’s visits significantly differed between the two rotating samples. Discussion: Our findings add to literature about survey participation effects, suggesting that they may not be present for either self-reported or objective measures of this important health behavior.
How to Cite
Caputo, J., Danko, M., Brønnum-Hansen, H., & Oksuzyan, A. (2020). Helpful Reminders? Health Survey Participation and Doctor’s Visits among Aging Adults. Survey Research Methods, 14(5), 487-497.