Using Reinterview and Reconciliation Methods to Design and Evaluate Survey Questions

  • Jeremy E. Morton RTI International
  • Paul Mullin IBM Business Consulting Services
  • Paul Biemer RTI International
Keywords: reinterview, reconciliation, questionnaire design


Conducting reinterviews is an effective method to estimate and reduce response errors in interview surveys. As part of the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000 (SHPPS), RTI used reinterview methods to assist in designing and evaluating survey questions. Reinterviews were conducted in the field test with selected respondents to identify discrepancies between the original interviews and reinterviews. Reconciliation interviews were then conducted to determine the reasons for the discrepancies in terms of comprehension, recall, encoding, response options, or other problems. In this paper, we describe the design of the reinterview and reconciliation study and discuss the implications of using these methods for questionnaire design and evaluation, specifically in comparison to cognitive interviewing.