Using probability vs. nonprobability sampling to identify hard-to-access participants for health-related research: Costs and contrasts

Lucy Feild, Rachel A. Pruchno, Jennifer Bewley, Edward P. Lemay, Norman G. Levinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article compares the recruitment costs and participant characteristics associated with the use of probability and nonprobability sampling strategies in a longitudinal study of older hemodialysis patients and their spouses. Contrasts were made of people who accrued to the study based on probability and nonprobability sampling strategies. Probability-based sampling was more time-efficient and cost-effective than nonprobability sampling. There were no significant differences between the respondents identified through probability and nonprobability sampling on age, gender, years married, education, work status, and professional job status. Respondents from the probability sample were more likely to be Protestant and less likely to be Catholic than those from the nonprobability sample. Respondents from the probability sample were more likely to be Black, whereas those from the nonprobability sample were more likely to be White. There are strengths and shortcomings associated with both nonprobability and probability sampling. Researchers need to consider representativeness and external validity issues when designing sampling and related recruitment plans for health-related research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-583
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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