Support #530

Proxy interview rules

Added by Pauline Beck about 8 years ago. Updated about 8 years ago.

Survey design
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I work at ONS on the Labour Force Survey

I was just wondering if you could provide me with some details on how you carry out interviews, especially proxy interviews.

On the LFS we say a proxy interview can be done by a relative aged 19+….other social surveys in ONS say a proxy interview can be done by another household member aged 16+ (no need to be a relative) as long as they feel they can provide the information
What are your proxy interview rules? And if you use non relatives….have you done any analysis on the quality of the information collected?

Also we are having more cases of respondents asking for a relative, who doesn't live in the household, to do the interview for them ie an elderly person asking if an adult child could do the interview on their behalf even though they don't live with them. Do you allow this?


Updated by Victoria Nolan about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Resolved
  • Assignee changed from Victoria Nolan to Pauline Beck
  • % Done changed from 0 to 90
  • Private changed from Yes to No

Dear Pauline,

I have consulted with our survey manager, who has provided the following response:

On Understanding Society, the proxy informant must be an adult aged 16 or over and either a close relative, another adult in the household who knows the respondent well, or be nominated by the proxy subject. I am not aware of any analysis on the data quality within the proxy interview, looking at the status of the proxy informant to the subject. At Wave 5 we had 3,862 proxy interviews (8.6% of the total adult interviews). In over half of these cases (52%) the informant was the partner of the subject. In another fifth of cases, the informant was a child of the subject and in another fifth, the parent of the subject. In fewer than 2% of cases was the informant a non-relative to the subject.

We do allow a non-residential relative to do the proxy on behalf of someone who is not capable, the most likely situation is the one you give in which the elderly sample member allows his or her adult child to respond on their behalf.

I hope this helps,
Best wishes,

On behalf of the Understanding Society Data User Support Team


Updated by Victoria Nolan about 8 years ago

  • Status changed from Resolved to Closed
  • % Done changed from 90 to 100

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