Mobile phone based interviews lead to more trustworthy and accurate answers than those given in more traditional spoken interviews



Mobiles have redefined what it means to listen mHealth

As people increasingly communicate via asynchronous non-spoken modes on mobile devices, particularly text messaging (e.g., SMS), longstanding assumptions and practices of social measurement via telephone survey interviewing are being challenged. In the study reported here, 634 people who had agreed to participate in an interview on their iPhone were randomly assigned to answer 32 questions from US social surveys via text messaging or speech, administered either by a human interviewer or by an automated interviewing system… …The key question was how the interview mode affected the quality of the response data, in particular the precision of numerical answers (how many were not rounded), variation in answers to multiple questions with the same response scale (differentiation), and disclosure of socially undesirable information. Texting led to higher quality data-fewer rounded numerical answers, more differentiated answers to a battery of questions, and more disclosure of sensitive information-than voice interviews, both with human and automated interviewers. Text respondents also reported a strong preference for future interviews by text. The findings suggest that people interviewed on mobile devices at a time and place that is convenient for them, even when they are multitasking, can give more trustworthy and accurate answers than those in more traditional spoken interviews. The findings also suggest that answers from text interviews, when aggregated across a sample, can tell a different story about a population than answers from voice interviews, potentially altering the policy implications from a survey

Some interesting findings from this “Precision and Disclosure in Text and Voice Interviews on Smartphones” paper by NY based psychologist Michael Schober (lead author).

We have found similar findings when Patients complete the interactive Instant Medical History questionnaires that are a key feature of 3G Doctor consultations. Without the pressures of feeling they are using up the limited time they have with a Doctor, Patients find it much easier to share all the details of their important medical history. Doctors find that it provides a huge opportunity to be able to improve the quality and safety of their care, because knowing that all the basic checks are made and Patients have had all the time and space they needed to share their information enables them to spend their time with Patients focusing in on their needs while ensuring that they can easily produce a quality written consultation report without having to spend all the time/energy that would normally be associated with the typing up of a consultation.

Clearly young people reading this post will be checking the date stamp because to them the idea of going to an office when you need information is a concept that is ridiculously out of date. They find phone calls to be in the most part annoying (“you’re not my grandmother so why don’t you just text me?“) because they want things to happen at a time that they get to choose. Why must healthcare be so different? We all know that the model of healthcare that worked for 2,000 years is no longer viable so why is it unreasonable to expect it to be possible to share our important medical history with our Doctors at a time and place that we find convenient?

It’s 2015 – 93 year olds don’t understand why they can’t FaceTime their GP clinic – so why can’t we text emergency services? Why can’t we have our Doctors meet with us at a time and place that we find convenient?

Sir Stirling Moss 3G Video Calling 3G Doctor Dr Fiona Kavanagh

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