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This study aims to establish whether web-panel surveys can provide a viable less resource intensive means of boosting sample sizes of two hard-to-reach groups (people of Black African ethnicity, and gay men) for a sexual health survey, and the extent of any bias.
Methods: Results from a national probability sample survey (Natsal-3, administered using a computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) and self-interview (CASI) with 15,162 participants), which included 211 black African participants and 83 gay men, were compared with results from a web-panel survey (using identical questions) of 529 black Africans and 592 gay men.
WPS response rates are often very low, rarely reported and may be difficult to calculate depending on how web-panel recruitment is designed(9-12). sampling frame) and recruitment/data collection mode (e.g.
face-to-face, telephone, web) have distinct implications for data quality and cost(13).
Web-panel survey results for socio-demographics were compared with external benchmarks, and for sexual behaviours and attitudes reported in Natsal-3.
For gay men, average absolute ORs were: 2.2 for attitudinal questions asked in CAPI, 2.8 for attitudinal CASI questions, 1.8 for behavioural questions asked in CAPI to 1.6 for behavioural questions asked in CASI.In contrast to these traditional methods, online surveys promise reduced costs and quicker turnaround.