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Vital Health Stat 2. 2001 Oct;(133):1-17.

Compensating for provider nonresponse using response propensities to form adjustment cells: the National Immunization Survey.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Immunization Program, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



The National Immunization Survey (NIS) uses two phases of data collection to obtain vaccination information from a sample of young children: a random-digit-dialing (RDD) survey for identifying households with children 19-35 months of age, followed by a mail survey for obtaining provider-reported vaccination histories about these children. Provider-reported vaccination histories are used to estimate vaccination coverage rates. In 1998, provider-reported vaccination histories were not obtained for 32.9% of children with a completed RDD interview. This report describes the statistical methods adopted in 1998 to reduce the bias in vaccination coverage estimates that could result from "vaccination history nonresponse," that is, differences between children for whom provider data was obtained and those for whom it was not obtained.


In the methods adopted in 1998, children with completed NIS RDD interviews are grouped into adjustment cells defined by their propensity to have adequate provider data. Sampling weights of children with adequate provider data are divided by the cell-specific weighted response rate to allow these children to represent all children in the cell.


Using an "optimal" number of cells, the overall extent of bias reduction was 0.5%, suggesting that provider nonresponse bias was small. Authoritative literature suggests using five cells. No statistically significant differences were observed in vaccination coverage estimates when comparing estimates based on the "optimal" number of cells with five cells. Thus, five adjustment cells are used to reduce provider nonresponse bias in the NIS vaccination coverage estimates. No substantively important differences were observed between estimates based on the methodology used prior to 1998 and the methodology adopted in 1998.

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