Effects of Interview Mode on Assessments of Erectile and Ejaculatory Dysfunction among Men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Catania JA, Oakley LP, Rosen R, Pollack LM. J Sex Res. 2012 Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print]


a Department of Public Health , Oregon State University.


In a randomized experiment (N = 249; age 50 + years), this study examined if self-reports of erectile dysfunction (ED) and ejaculatory dysfunction (EjD) symptomatology were influenced by the mode of interview administration (computer-assisted self-interview [CASI], audio computer-assisted self-interview [ACASI], or computer-assisted personal interview [CAPI; involving an interviewer]). This study also examined if mode moderated person variables hypothesized to impact self-reports (social desirability, age, or depressive mood). No main or moderating effects of mode were found for self-reports of EjD symptoms. However, mode effects on reports of ED symptoms were observed, and these moderated age and social desirability effects on self-reports. Significantly more older (relative to younger) men reported high levels of ED symptoms when interview administration was by a live interviewer (CAPI) than with self-administration. Alternatively, significantly more younger men reported high levels of ED symptoms when administration was by an interviewer (CAPI) or by ACASI (vs. CASI). The Mode × Social Desirability effects were complex (see the Discussion section), showing hypothesized effects under ACASI and CAPI conditions, but an opposite effect under the CASI condition. The stability of self-reported ED symptoms did not vary by mode (based on test-retest comparisons); test-retest was significantly higher for EjD symptoms within the ACASI condition. The impact of mode of administration on self-reports of ED/EjD symptoms is less predictable and dramatic than one might conclude from prior research with other types of self-report outcomes. The findings are consistent with a small, but growing, body of studies that illustrate highly situational effects of interviewing, which may depend on a complex interplay between modes, person variables, and the interview topic/target items. Self-administered methods, in particular, may not be a universal solution to response bias.