Prevalence estimates of illicit drug use do not differ significantly between mail and web surveys,according to a study of undergraduate students attending a large Midwestern public university in the spring of 2001. A random sample of 7,000 students were randomly assigned to self-administer either a Web-or mail-based substance use survey. Both undergraduate men and women reported similar rates of past year substance use, regardless of survey mode (seefigure below for results for men; women’s results are not shown). Furthermore, the Web-based survey had a higher response rate (63%) than the mail-based survey (40%). The author concludes that while “future research is needed to learn how to optimize Web-based modes of data collection, Web surveys have a great deal of promise for conducting large-scale studies because of potential cost savings” (p. 69).

University of Maryland , College Park
A Weekly FAX from the Center for Substance Abuse Research
May 23, 2005
Vol. 14, Issue 21

Cesar Fax