Helpful Reminders? Health Survey Participation and Doctor’s Visits


  • Jennifer Caputo Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
  • Maciej J. Dańko
  • Henrik Brønnum-Hansen
  • Anna Oksuzyan



Doctor’s/physician’s visits, survey participation, health behavior, panel conditioning


Objectives: There is growing concern about how participating in longitudinal studies affects participants. However, assessments of survey participation effects on objectively measured behaviors are scarce. This study addresses this gap by assessing whether there is a relationship between participating in a longitudinal survey and respondents’ registered doctor’s visits. Methods: We used register-linked data from the Danish part of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, a biennial panel survey of adults aged 50+, to assess whether survey participation is associated with changes in self-reported and actual doctor’s visits. Results: Neither self-reported nor register-recorded doctor’s visits significantly differed by survey participation. Observed increases in doctor’s visits over time are likely age-related. 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.


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How to Cite

Caputo, J., Dańko, M. J. ., Brønnum-Hansen, H., & Oksuzyan, A. (2020). Helpful Reminders? Health Survey Participation and Doctor’s Visits. Survey Research Methods, 14(5), 487–497.




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