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Why Ecological Momentary Assessment Surveys Go Incomplete: When It Happens and How It Impacts DataFunding The present study was supported by the grants from Starkey Hearing Technologies, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01DC015997), the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR 90REGE0013), and National Science Foundation (SCH 1838830).
Background Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) often requires respondents to complete surveys in the moment to report real-time experiences. Because EMA may seem disruptive or intrusive, respondents may not complete surveys as directed in certain circumstances.
Purpose This article aims to determine the effect of environmental characteristics on the likelihood of instances where respondents do not complete EMA surveys (referred to as survey incompletion), and to estimate the impact of survey incompletion on EMA self-report data.
Research Design An observational study.
Study Sample Ten adults hearing aid (HA) users.
Data Collection and Analysis Experienced, bilateral HA users were recruited and fit with study HAs. The study HAs were equipped with real-time data loggers, an algorithm that logged the data generated by HAs (e.g., overall sound level, environment classification, and feature status including microphone mode and amount of gain reduction). The study HAs were also connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, which collected the real-time data logging data as well as presented the participants with EMA surveys about their listening environments and experiences. The participants were sent out to wear the HAs and complete surveys for 1 week. Real-time data logging was triggered when participants completed surveys and when participants ignored or snoozed surveys. Data logging data were used to estimate the effect of environmental characteristics on the likelihood of survey incompletion, and to predict participants' responses to survey questions in the instances of survey incompletion.
Results Across the 10 participants, 715 surveys were completed and survey incompletion occurred 228 times. Mixed effects logistic regression models indicated that survey incompletion was more likely to happen in the environments that were less quiet and contained more speech, noise, and machine sounds, and in the environments wherein directional microphones and noise reduction algorithms were enabled. The results of survey response prediction further indicated that the participants could have reported more challenging environments and more listening difficulty in the instances of survey incompletion. However, the difference in the distribution of survey responses between the observed responses and the combined observed and predicted responses was small.
Conclusion The present study indicates that EMA survey incompletion occurs systematically. Although survey incompletion could bias EMA self-report data, the impact is likely to be small.
Received: 21 April 2020
Accepted: 01 June 2020
15 December 2020 (online)
© 2020. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.
Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
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