The LSOA II Wave 2 Decedent Interview

Survey Description

The first followup interview conducted with LSOA II sample persons is known as the LSOA II Wave 2 interview. The basic design of the LSOA II Wave 2 consisted of tracing sample persons to a current address and conducting interviews with the subjects or their proxies. The data collection contractor for the Wave 2 interview was the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. This second interview was scheduled to occur roughly 2 years after the baseline SOA II interview. This interval was chosen in order to replicate the analytic intervals in the original LSOA and to provide similar 2-year transition rates for measures of health and health care utilization. Data collection for Wave 2 took place between May 12, 1997, and May 31, 1998. The majority of interviews, however, were conducted between May 1997 and February 1998, with followup activities occurring between March and May 1998.

Unlike the SOA II, which was conducted in person, the followup wave was conducted primarily by telephone using a Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) system. In addition, the followup interview questionnaires included CATI and self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) versions, surviving and deceased sample person versions, community dwelling and institutionalized skip patterns, and Spanish language translations. In some cases, an SAQ instrument was administered over the telephone as a last resort to respondents who, because of the length of the CATI interview, would have otherwise refused to participate at Wave 2.

Two questionnaire versions were developed to accommodate five different types of respondents: the Survivor version and the Decedent version. Responses to questions at the beginning of the CATI instrument automatically routed the interviewer to the appropriate questionnaire version and skip patterns for the respondent type. The Decedent questionnaire was administered only to proxy respondents for sample persons who were known to have died during the period between the SOA II and Wave 2 interviews.

Response Rates

A total of 8,905 (or 94.6 percent) sample persons were traced and located to a current address at the time of the LSOA II Wave 2 field period. Once located, 7,998 interviews were obtained from a sample person or proxy respondent resulting in a Wave 2 interview rate of 89.8 percent conditional on successful tracing (7,998/8,905). Based on information obtained during the tracing and interviewing activities, 1,138 sample persons were identified as deceased at the time of the Wave 2 survey period and thus were eligible for a proxy decedent interview. Of these, decedent exit interviews were obtained for 938 (or 79.3 percent) persons.

To calculate the overall Wave 2 response rate we divide the number of completed interviews by the total baseline sample: 7,998/9447 = 84.7 percent. The overall LSOA II response rate as of Wave 2 is 74.0 percent and is calculated as follows:

Overall household response rate from the NHIS Core (94.1 percent) multiplied by the 92.9 percent of the age-eligible persons (age 70 at Phase II) who responded to the SOA II yields an overall SOA II baseline response rate of 87.4 percent. Multiplying this 87.4 percent by the 84.7 percent of SOA II sample persons who completed interview at Wave 2 yields an overall Wave 2 response rate of 74.0 percent.

Of the 7,998 interviews conducted at Wave 2, 7,060 were Survivor interviews and 938 were Decedent interviews.

Data File Contents

The LSOA II Wave 2 Decedent data file contains information from the 1994 NHIS Core questionnaire and the LSOA II Wave 2 followup interview for deceased sample persons. Below is an overview of the Decedent data file variables at a glance:

1994 National Health Interview Survey

  • Demographic characteristics (including age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, veteran status, major activity, education, and family income)
  • Limitation of activities (long term)
  • Restriction of activities (2 weeks)
  • Bed-days (previous year and 2 weeks)
  • Chronic conditions and impairments (long term)
  • Acute conditions (2 weeks)
  • Doctor visits (previous year and 2 weeks)
  • Hospital stays (previous year)

1997-98 LSOA II Wave 2 Decedent Interview

  • Housing, migration, and long-term care
  • Family structure, relationships, and living arrangements
  • Physical functioning
  • Conditions and impairments
  • Health opinions
  • Cognitive functioning for proxy respondents
  • Health care utilization
  • Health insurance

The Wave 2 Decedent data file can be linked to the Wave 2 Survivor Interview file in order to obtain additional baseline information on deceased sample persons.

Data Availability

  • ASCII version of the LSOA II Wave 2 Decedent Data File (records=938; vars=563; lrecl=1,131; approximately 1.01 mb)
  • ASCII file containing a SAS read-in program with input, label, value, and length statements
  • PDF version of the codebook containing an overview of the survey design, methodology, and content, as well as data file specifications and variable frequencies
  • PDF versions of the questionnaires used in the Wave 2 Decedent questionnaires (both CATI and Self-Administered Questionnaire versions)

Related Reports and the LSOA II Wave 2 Decedent Questionnaires

To date, no detailed description of the LSOA II has been published, however, all LSOA II codebooks contain comprehensive overviews of the sample design and survey methodology. These codebooks and the survey instruments can be accessed from the file-specific sites listed above.

Page last reviewed: November 6, 2015