University of Wisconsin–Madison

Recent findings from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study show interviewers’ ratings of respondents’ health predict respondents’ mortality over a 3-year follow-up

Recent research indicates survey interviewers’ ratings of respondents’ health may provide important information about the health of respondents in surveys of older adults. Although these ratings are promising, little is known about what information interviewers use to formulate their assessments, and more research is needed to document the utility of collecting these interviewer assessments. Researchers at the UWSC and Loyola University used data from the recent wave of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to further delve into what factors influence interviewers’ rating and whether these ratings are predictive of respondents’ subsequent mortality. This study is the first to document how interviewers’ ratings are associated with both interviewers’ evaluations of respondents and interviewers’ characteristics, with the fascinating finding that there is an association between these ratings and mortality. The authors recommend that researchers incorporate interviewers’ ratings of respondents’ health in surveys of older adults as a cost-effective, easily implemented, and supplementary measure of health.
Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema. “Interviewers’ Ratings of Respondents’ Health: Predictors and Association With Mortality.” The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.