What is the magnitude and direction of the average response bias in survey reports of hospital admissions or discharges? How valid are published conclusions about memory and proxy effects on hospital-admission reporting? The author addresses these questions and others in this study of record check designs and of how bias definitions can lead to incorrect inferences about survey response bias. A model is developed that describes survey and record observations and defines the net response bias. Three types of record check designs are described--pure prospective, retrospective, and full--and the effects of each design on the validity of inferences about measurement bias are derived. This provides a framework for a critical examination of the methodological literature about average survey response bias in reporting hospital stays. Published estimates of correlates of survey response bias are evaluated, and new interpretations of these data are offered. 89 pp. Ref.
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