A comparison of Web- with paper-based surveys of gay and bisexual men who vacationed in a gay resort community

AIDS Educ Prev. 2004 Oct;16(5):476-85. doi: 10.1521/aeap.16.5.476.48735.


Internet Web page survey responses were compared with those collected using traditional paper-and-pencil strategies to assess relative inclusion of a geographically dispersed population and comparativeness in responses. Three hundred and seven gay or bisexual men who had vacationed in a particular gay community completed Web-based and 244 paper-and-pencil questionnaires. Each questionnaire contained the same wording and question order. More Internet respondents than paper reported bisexual identity, nonmetropolitan residence, greater numbers of nonmain male partners for unprotected anal intercourse, and alcohol use than did paper-and-pencil respondents. Few other differences were identified. Assessing the reach of survey distribution can add to our knowledge base of surveys fielded using the Internet. Similarly, examining the potential biases in modes of administering convenience surveys can assist researchers to select the survey data collection method most appropriate to their research goals and design studies to assess the effect of the methods that are used.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bisexuality / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection / instrumentation*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Holidays
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Paper
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safe Sex / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology