The CDC is calling... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-23-2011, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They keep calling and saying I have been randomly selected to take part in a vaccine survey and want to ask questions about my children.  They say that my answers are confidential. 

 

I have said twice that I didn't have time to take part...but I also was a little nervous as we are a vaccine free family.  They still call, but I screen my calls and don't answer.  I guess I am being a bit paranoid!  Should I pick-up the phone and answer truthfully or say I am not interested in participating? 

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#2 of 13 Old 05-23-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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Hmmm...part of me would feel the same way as you, a bit paranoid. I would be hard pressed to answer the phone too. However, I feel that unless there is accurate data out there supporting the 'anti vaccine' crowd then we are going to continue to feel this way. If they really are looking for accurate data and they really are a legitimate call, I would answer honestly, even brutally. Every answer will become a statistic so it would be nice if there was more to support why some of us choose to do things differently.  Make it very clear that you have done mounds of research too.

 

Just my 2 cents!


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#3 of 13 Old 05-23-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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I don't like that. the fact that they are calling you repeatedly .....seems odd and stalkerish. Can you call the phone provider and ask that you not receive calls from this number? Or block the calls.
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#4 of 13 Old 05-23-2011, 04:25 PM
 
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#5 of 13 Old 05-23-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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Your phone number was selected randomly through a random dialing process. They will continue calling until you either complete their survey in full, OR tell them to take you off their list. If you say you're too busy, they figure there might be a time when you're not. So they'll keep calling.

 

You need to tell them to take you off their list.

 

At first, they say everything is confidential, but at the end of the survey, they do request your children's full names and doctor's contact information. So it's a waste of time unless you're willing to give that information at the end.

 

As an non vaccinating parent, I would not complete the survey, not just for privacy reasons, but because they use that information to develop campaigns to convince people to vaccinate. Why should I help with that?

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#6 of 13 Old 05-24-2011, 05:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

Your phone number was selected randomly through a random dialing process. They will continue calling until you either complete their survey in full, OR tell them to take you off their list. If you say you're too busy, they figure there might be a time when you're not. So they'll keep calling.

 

You need to tell them to take you off their list.

 

At first, they say everything is confidential, but at the end of the survey, they do request your children's full names and doctor's contact information. So it's a waste of time unless you're willing to give that information at the end.

 

As an non vaccinating parent, I would not complete the survey, not just for privacy reasons, but because they use that information to develop campaigns to convince people to vaccinate. Why should I help with that?


Yes, to the first part. They aren't stalking you it's just how dialing for surveys work. They keep retrying numbers until they get a definite answer from you of either No, you will not participate or you do participate. You have to understand it's actually the CDC calling it's a telemarketing firm whose business is to do this.

 

As for full names and doctor info, that doesn't invalidate the survey if you don't answer it, if they actually ask it. They didn't when I took the survey. To me you can't complain about lack of data on non-vaccinated children if you aren't willing to actually participate in surveys that are collecting this data.

 

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#7 of 13 Old 05-24-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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Ugh, it's NOT the CDC calling.

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#8 of 13 Old 05-24-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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It sounds like all that's going on is the CDC is using good methodology when conducting their survey. First they target a population they want information about (children in a certain age range in a certain area of the country for example). Then they randomly select a subset of this population to actually talk to. They can't talk to all x number of people in their target population (probably their target population is too large), so  they select a representative sample - usually a computer program would randomly select the subsample from the larger sample. Hence, you have been "randomly selected".

 

Now, once they have their subsample selected their job is to get their data from as many of these people as possible, without skipping over any significant portion of their subset. If this stage of the survey is done wrong, then something called response bias creeps into the data. It works like this - they call up a series of parents, and the parents of kids who are vaccinated cheerfully answer their questions, but the parents of unvaccinated kids get squirrely and refuse to answer any questions. The CDC then gets data only from parents of vaccinated kids. The data would then reflect this, perhaps making it look like more people choose to vaccinate their kids than actually do, or perhaps changing the nature of the data they are getting concerning attitudes about vaccines (these are examples, I have no idea what the survey is actually about).

 

My intro stats professor told the class that if he got a survey in the mail, he would throw it out and see if they send the survey again. If they sent the survey again, he would throw it out. If they sent the survey a third time, he would consider participating because he saw their persistence in trying to eliminate response bias as an indication the survey was being done correctly and would be worth participating in.

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#9 of 13 Old 05-24-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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It's more random than that. It's completely random. They call random numbers selected by a computer, not knowing at first if it is a business or residence, or the ages of the people living there, (it could be a single person with no kids, for example).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainfeather View Post

It sounds like all that's going on is the CDC is using good methodology when conducting their survey. First they target a population they want information about (children in a certain age range in a certain area of the country for example). Then they randomly select a subset of this population to actually talk to. They can't talk to all x number of people in their target population (probably their target population is too large), so  they select a representative sample - usually a computer program would randomly select the subsample from the larger sample. Hence, you have been "randomly selected".


 

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#10 of 13 Old 05-24-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I think what people most commonly complain about is the absence of a study comparing the health outcomes, including autism, in vaccinated vs. completely unvaccinated children. This is not what this CDC survey is about.  This survey is about finding out the demographics of who vaccinates on time, who is behind, and who doesn't vaccinate, so the CDC can increase vaccination rates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post

To me you can't complain about lack of data on non-vaccinated children if you aren't willing to actually participate in surveys that are collecting this data.

 



 

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#11 of 13 Old 05-24-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalou View Post


 To me you can't complain about lack of data on non-vaccinated children if you aren't willing to actually participate in surveys that are collecting this data.

 



A phone survey is not a reasonable substitute for a scientific study.  

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#12 of 13 Old 06-22-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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I get random calls like this from time to time.  The words "I am on the National Do Not Call List" are enough to get most callers to apologize and remove me from their list immediately.


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#13 of 13 Old 06-23-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post





A phone survey is not a reasonable substitute for a scientific study.  


How would you design a scientific study, one that would meet ethical guidelines and actually get approved?

 

My field is in human research regulations, and these are notoriously hard issues to study due to the research regulations. You certainly cannot do a placebo trial on this, and retrospective medical record reviews are going to be heavily biased because they will not include children who did not seek medical care. How many non vaxers also skip well child visits? The data on healthy kids who don't vax are likely to be much less just because people don't go to the doctor.

 

Sometimes, you have to start small and gather what data is available, because there are some issues that you are unable to conduct a trial on for ethical reasons.

 

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