Nurse effects on non-response in survey-based biomeasures

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

October 15, 2020


Collecting biological data in representative surveys is becoming more common due to their potential to inform research and policy. Nevertheless, using nurses to collect these data can lead to unintended effects. In this paper, we investigate how nurses influence the non-response process by looking at five waves of data coming from two surveys in the UK: Understanding Society and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. We find that nurses explain between 5 and 14% of the variance in non-response to biological data collection. We also find that older nurses are more successful in obtaining cooperation and consent to biological data collection and nurses with more survey experience are more likely to successfully collect blood samples. Finally, we show that including nurse characteristics in non-response weighting models leads to modest changes in population estimates of biological markers.

Published in

International Journal of Social Research Methodology






Open Access

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( 0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Online Early



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest