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Chronic Dis Can. 2004 Spring;25(2):21-7.

Computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) for health surveys in public health surveillance: methodological issues and challenges ahead.

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  • 1Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Population and Public Health Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


This article describes methodological issues, challenges, and a vision for using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) in a comprehensive public health surveillance system in the 21st century. Methodological issues include funding of surveys, survey frequency, sample size considerations, response rates, and types of bias to be considered in questionnaire design. Challenges include the recognition of the merits and limitations of CATI, and the potential for greater use in surveillance of public health issues in health regions requiring rapid and regular data. The vision of a CATI survey-based, rapid, flexible, cost-effective public health surveillance system is described. It is concluded that further discussion and views on improvements with regard to CATI methodological and practical issues will help build a better CATI survey-based public health surveillance system for the future.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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