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Principles of Exposure Measurement in EpidemiologyCollecting, Evaluating, and Improving Measures of Disease Risk Factors$
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Emily White, Bruce K. Armstrong, and Rodolfo Saracci

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780198509851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509851.001.0001

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The personal interview

The personal interview

(p.213) 7 The personal interview
Principles of Exposure Measurement in Epidemiology

Emily White

Bruce K. Armstrong

Rodolfo Saracci

Oxford University Press

The personal interview, whether face-to-face or by telephone, is the most common method of collecting data on exposures in epidemiological studies. This chapter covers the selection, training and supervision of interviewers, and the contents of an interviewer's manual. Interviewer training should cover the appropriate techniques for sample selection and recruiting subjects, as well as for asking questions, recording responses, and initial editing and coding of the questionnaire. Structured interviews in which the interviewer's exact words and allowable probes are all set out in detail on the questionnaire are associated with the least error. Other subjects covered in this chapter are types and styles of interviews, the optimal circumstances for an interview, and aspects of telephone interviewing that differ from face-to-face interviewing.

Keywords:   interviewer bias, interviewer, selection of interviewers, interviewer training, structured interview, probing, feedback to respondents, computer-assisted interviewing, interviewer's manual, supervision of interviewers

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