Reducing Response Bias in Reports of Trauma and PTSD: An Application of the Non-verbal Response Card in a Survey of Youth in Burkina Faso



David Lindstrom, Professor of Sociology, Brown University

David Lindstrom, Professor of Sociology, Brown University studies the determinants and consequences of migration in economically developing societies, adolescent health and sexual behavior, and changing dynamics of reproductive health and behavior. Lindstrom has been actively engaged throughout his career in primary data collection and has directed surveys in Mexico, Guatemala and Ethiopia, and currently co-directs a study of regional migration in Colombia, Chile and Costa Rica. Lindstrom’s work includes innovations in survey design to reach hidden populations and to solicit information on sensitive topics. His talk will present results from an experimental trial of the non-verbal response card method in a study of violence and trauma in Burkina Faso. Lindstrom originally developed the non-verbal response card method to collect survey data on sexual behavior and mental health in Ethiopia. Evidence of the effectiveness of the method for reducing response bias in reports of non-marital sex, condom awareness, and violence have been published in Studies in Family Planning and the Journal of Adolescent Health. Recent results from Burkina Faso demonstrate the value of the card method over the verbal response method in reducing bias in reports of traumatic events and symptoms of PTSD.

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