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J Sex Res. 2003 May;40(2):121-8.

The impact of touch-tone data entry on reports of HIV and STD risk behaviors in telephone interviews.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 3311 Toledo Rd., Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.


Respondents concerns about privacy can decrease reporting of HIV and STD risk behaviors in general population telephone surveys. The purpose of this paper is to describe the results of an experimental study evaluating whether one method for increasing privacy, touch-tone data entry (TTDE), is effective in increasing estimates of sexual behaviors from a population-based survey. We conducted a random-digit-dial telephone survey of adults in New Jersey (n = 405), with half the respondents using TTDE for answering sexual behavior questions. TTDE led to increased reports of same-sex sexual behavior, certain HIV and STD risk factors, and concern about one s risk for HIV and STD transmission. TTDE also narrowed the difference between men s and women s reports of the number of different sexual partners over the past 10 years. The feasibility and limitations of TTDE are discussed, as well as possible alternative interpretations that consider the impact of TTDE on the dynamics of the interaction between the respondent and the interviewer.

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