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PULSE Healthcare Survey Captures Opinions Despite Communication Preferences

By George Popa/Friday, June 27, 2014

The perceived risk of taking painkillers is an issue for people of all ages and communication preferences. Our polling shows that one in three adults only have a cell phone instead of both a cell phone and a land line. This is especially important as we collect opinions from the more mobile Millennials and Generation Xers, as well as the more traditional Baby Boomers and Seniors, who often have cell phones in addition to land lines.
 
Every other month, the Truven Health Analytics™-NPR Health Poll surveys approximately 3,000 Americans to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of healthcare issues. Poll results are reported by NPR on the health blog Shots and on air. Complete survey results are also posted. NPR’s reports on the findings are archived.

The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health Analytics PULSE® Healthcare Survey, an independently funded multi-modal (land line, cell phone, and internet) survey that collects information from more than 82,000 U.S. households annually. 3,010 survey participants were interviewed from May 1–15, 2014, and the article, Americans Weigh Addiction Risk When Taking Painkillers, reflects their responses. The margin of error is +/- 1.8 percent.

The biggest advantage of using multi-modal survey over strictly land-line telephone surveys is that fewer and fewer people are using land-line telephones. By employing a multi-mode approach to the PULSE Healthcare Survey that includes land-line phone, cell phone, and internet, Truven Health is ensuring that all segments of the population are included in the sample.

By 2010, 21% of the adult population used cell phones exclusively. By 2012, this number increased to 30% and has continued to increase. Additional research suggests that the 18-35 year old population is the largest group of cell phone “only” or cell phone “mostly” users. The 18-35 age group is becoming more difficult to reach and other methods must be used besides land-line telephones.

People have expanded their means of communication, and our work  reflects consumer preference in our polling  sampling methodology. As people leverage technology  to communicate in many different ways, it‘s important that surveys develop sampling methodologies that are broadly inclusive. The PULSE Healthcare Survey is doing just that.

George Popa
Research Scientist, PULSE Healthcare Survey
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