The Impact of Nurse Continuity on Biosocial Survey Participation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Biological measurements (or biomeasures) are increasingly being collected in large longitudinal biosocial surveys, enabling researchers to exploit the advantages of social science data with objective health measures to better understand how health and social behaviour interact over time. However, not all survey respondents are willing to take part in the biomeasure component of biosocial surveys, even when the measures are administered by certified medical professionals, such as nurses. Thus, understanding factors which affect participation in biomeasure collection is essential for making valid biosocial inferences about the population. Previous research has shown that interviewer continuity can be useful for optimizing longitudinal survey participation, but it is yet unknown if nurse continuity impacts the likelihood of participation in biomeasure collection. We investigated the impact of nurse continuity on nonresponse to biomeasure collection in waves 4 and 6 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Using cross-classified multilevel models, we find that switching nurses between waves does not negatively impact participation in biomeasure collection, and sometimes can be beneficial, particularly for previous wave nonrespondents. The practical implication is that biosocial surveys may not need to employ strict nurse continuity protocols to maximize participation in subsequent waves of biomeasure data collection.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalSurvey Methods: Insights from the Field
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020