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What's missing in missing data? Omissions in survey responses among parents of children with advanced cancer

Rosenberg,AR, Dussel,V, Orellana,L, Kang,T, Geyer,JR, Feudtner,C and Wolfe,J 2014, What's missing in missing data? Omissions in survey responses among parents of children with advanced cancer, Journal of Palliative Medicine, vol. 17, no. 8, pp. 953-956, doi: 10.1089/jpm.2013.0663.

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Title What's missing in missing data? Omissions in survey responses among parents of children with advanced cancer
Author(s) Rosenberg,AR
Dussel,V
Orellana,LORCID iD for Orellana,L orcid.org/0000-0003-3736-4337
Kang,T
Geyer,JR
Feudtner,C
Wolfe,J
Journal name Journal of Palliative Medicine
Volume number 17
Issue number 8
Start page 953
End page 956
Total pages 4
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Place of publication New Rochelle, NY
Publication date 2014-08-01
ISSN 1096-6218
1557-7740
Summary Background: Missing data is a common phenomenon with survey-based research; patterns of missing data may elucidate why participants decline to answer certain questions. Objective: To describe patterns of missing data in the Pediatric Quality of Life and Evaluation of Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) study, and highlight challenges in asking sensitive research questions. Design: Cross-sectional, survey-based study embedded within a randomized controlled trial. Setting: Three large children's hospitals: Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (DF/BCCDC); Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP); and Seattle Children's Hospital (SCH). Measurements: At the time of their child's enrollment, parents completed the Survey about Caring for Children with Cancer (SCCC), including demographics, perceptions of prognosis, treatment goals, quality of life, and psychological distress. Results: Eighty-six of 104 parents completed surveys (83% response). The proportion of missing data varied by question type. While 14 parents (16%) left demographic fields blank, over half (n=48; 56%) declined to answer at least one question about their child's prognosis, especially life expectancy. The presence of missing data was unrelated to the child's diagnosis, time from progression, time to death, or parent distress (p>0.3 for each). Written explanations in survey margins suggested that addressing a child's life expectancy is particularly challenging for parents. Conclusions and Relevance: Parents of children with cancer commonly refrain from answering questions about their child's prognosis, however, they may be more likely to address general cure likelihood than explicit life expectancy. Understanding acceptability of sensitive questions in survey-based research will foster higher quality palliative care research. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014.
Language eng
DOI 10.1089/jpm.2013.0663
Field of Research 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30069768

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.