Support #264

Data inconsistency - satisfaction with health - c_sclfsat1

Added by Gemma Archer almost 10 years ago. Updated over 9 years ago.

Redmine Admin
Data inconsistency
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Hi there,

I am working for the Department of Health and am trying to explain why there appears to have been a drop in people’s satisfaction with their health in wave 3 (c_sclfsat1).

I’m now thinking this might be due to coding issues/error. For example, of those who were ‘completely dissatisfied’ with their health, 52.9% rated their health as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ – which seems unusual.

The attached document hopefully helps to outline this potential inconsistency in more detail.

Please let me know if you need anything else.

Many Thanks for your help,



Updated by Redmine Admin over 9 years ago

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Updated by Gemma Archer over 9 years ago

I am unable to attach the document - so here is some additional detail. Please contact me if you would like me to send the document - it is very short and contains tables outlining the points below - so might be helpful!

The following points make me question the validity of c_sclfsat1:

Although there has been a drop in satisfaction with health, ratings of 'general health' appear to have remained relatively stable across waves (in addition to other potentially correlated measures such as psychological wellbeing (GHQ-12), measures of personal wellbeing, levels of disability).

When 'satisfaction with health' is cross-tabulated against ratings of 'general health', there is an unsual pattern. A very large propotion of those who are 'completely dissatisfied' or 'mostly disssatisfied' are also rating their health as 'excellent' or 'very good'.

The proportion in these categories are two/three times greater than what is seen when looking at the same assocation in waves 1 & 2 (which are consistant with each other).

Even if there has been a genuine drop in 'health satisfaction', I can't see a reason why the assocation with general health should be so different to what has been seen previously.

I hope that helps to clarify things.

I'd really appreciate this being looked into as this has attracted interest from government ministers who are curious to know what is causing a drop in health satisfaction. So far I am unable to explain it...

Many thanks for your help.

The variables I refer to:
Satisfaction with health: (c_sclfsat1 b_sclfsat1 a_sclfsat1)
General health rating: (c_scsf1 b_scsf1 a_sf1)


Updated by Redmine Admin over 9 years ago

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There does seem to be a shift for some categories between Wave 2 and 3 and more so for satisfaction with health than for e.g. life overall. Weighted and unweighted analyses result in similar distributions, which suggests that it is not an obvious selection issue. Users should however be aware that the life satisfaction questions were asked on a paper self-completion questionnaire at Wave 1-2 and by computer assisted self-completion interviewing (CASI) from Wave 3 onwards. The layout of the paper questionnaire had four life satisfaction questions in a block with the options ordered from left to right. The CASI layout had separate screens for each question and the categories were ordered from top to bottom. Each category was labelled in both of these two modes.



Updated by Redmine Admin over 9 years ago

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Gemma: would it be reasonable to say that there could be a potential issue with the data/coding?

Jakob: The only thing that we are aware of is that there has been a change in the mode of this question across the waves.


Updated by Redmine Admin over 9 years ago

I can confirm that the data that were released are consistent with the data delivered to us. Spot checks of the original paper forms also came out negative.
We are carrying out research into potential mode effects. The findings can in the first instance be accessed here;
See e.g.;



Updated by Redmine Admin over 9 years ago

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Updated by Redmine Admin over 9 years ago

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