A multiple-phase, population-based health and hazard survey of Ohio cash grain farms and farmers is currently underway. The project was designed as a collaborative effort between Ohio State University, CDC/NIOSH, and the State of Ohio. In Phase 1 of the project ( June to November 1993), a stratified random sample of 4,860 cash grain farms was selected from a comprehensive statewide roster. A mixed-mode survey (i.e., a self-administered, mailed questionnaire, with telephone follow-up of mail non-responders) was then conducted to obtain health and hazard data of interest. The content and design of the questionnaire was modeled after NCHS's National Health Interview Survey, a national health survey of the civilian non-institutionalized population of the United States. Depending on the definition used, the survey response rate ranged from 43.6% to 71.4%. Negligible differences in the response rates were seen with respect to farm size and region of the state, although some non-random variation in the response rates was apparent on a county-to-county basis. In attempting to assess the potential for non-response bias by conducting a (mail) survey of Phase-1 nonresponders, results indicated responders and non-responders were similar on most factors where direct comparisons were possible. Survey methods are described and reasons for the lower-than-desired response discussed.
Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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