Improving gambling survey research using dual-frame sampling of landline and mobile phone numbers

Abstract

Gambling prevalence studies are typically conducted within a single (landline) telephone sampling frame. This practice continues, despite emerging evidence that significant differences exist between landline and mobile (cell) phone only households. This study utilised a dual-frame (landline and mobile) telephone sampling methodology to cast light on the extent of differences across groups of respondents in respect to demographic, health, and gambling characteristics. A total of 2,014 participants from across Australian states and territories ranging in age from 18 to 96 years participated. Interviews were conducted using computer assisted telephone interviewing technology where 1,012 respondents from the landline sampling frame and 1,002 from the mobile phone sampling frame completed a questionnaire about gambling and other health behaviours. Responses across the landline sampling frame, the mobile phone sampling frame, and the subset of the mobile phone sampling frame that possessed a mobile phone only (MPO) were contrasted. The findings revealed that although respondents in the landline sample (62.7 %) did not significantly differ from respondents in the mobile phone sample (59.2 %) in gambling participation in the previous 12 months, they were significantly more likely to have gambled in the previous 12 months than the MPO sample (56.4 %). There were no significant differences in internet gambling participation over the previous 12 months in the landline sample (4.7 %), mobile phone sample (4.7 %) and the MPO sample (5.0 %). However, endorsement of lifetime problem gambling on the NODS-CLiP was significantly higher within the mobile sample (10.7 %) and the MPO sample (14.8 %) than the landline sample (6.6 %). Our research supports previous findings that reliance on a traditional landline telephone sampling approach effectively excludes distinct subgroups of the population from being represented in research findings. Consequently, we suggest that research best practice necessitates the use of a dual-frame sampling methodology. Despite inherent logistical and cost issues, this approach needs to become the norm in gambling survey research.

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