The impact of T-ACASI interviewing on reported drug use among men who have sex with men

Subst Use Misuse. 2000 May-Jun;35(6-8):869-90. doi: 10.3109/10826080009148425.


Measurements of drug use and other illicit or stigmatized behaviors are subject to nontrivial underreporting biases. During in-person surveys, respondents are more likely to report such behaviors when interviewed using techniques that maximize interviewee privacy, e.g., use of paper SAQs and audio-CASI rather than questioning by human interviewers. Until recently, respondents in telephone surveys could not be offered similar privacy. A new technology, telephone audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (T-ACASI) overcomes this limitation of telephone surveys by allowing respondents to respond to a computer. A randomized experimental test of T-ACASI was embedded in the Urban Men's Health Study (UMHS). UMHS surveyed a probability sample of 2,881 men from four United States cities and who reported having sex with men. Respondents interviewed using T-ACASI reported a higher prevalence of drug use and drug-related behaviors than respondents interviewed by human interviewers. However, survey respondents were more likely to break off an interview when the interview was conducted by a T-ACASI computer rather than by a human interviewer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chicago
  • Computers* / statistics & numerical data
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Sampling Studies
  • San Francisco
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Telephone* / statistics & numerical data