Nonresponse in the 1999 NHSDA
The redesign of the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
(NHSDA) in 1999 resulted in major changes in many aspects of the data
collection procedures. This raised concerns that the response rate could be
affected. In particular, the increased sample size, reduced clustering of
sample segments, transition from a paper to a computerized screening
instrument, and the transition from paper-and-pencil interviewing (PAPI)
to computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) all had the potential to change the
response rate. During the first quarter of 1999, an assessment of the
progress in completing the fieldwork indicated a reduction in response rate,
relative to response rates achieved historically in the NHSDA. To address
this problem, several management actions were immediately implemented.
Although the response rate improved steadily throughout the remainder of
the year, the result was a significantly lower response rate for the 1999
NHSDA than for prior NHSDAs.