51 research outputs found

    Fieldwork Monitoring in Practice: Insights from 17 Large-scale Social Science Surveys in Germany

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    This study provides a synopsis of the current fieldwork monitoring practices of large-scale surveys in Germany. Based on the results of a standardized questionnaire, the study summarizes fieldwork monitoring indicators used and fieldwork measures carried out by 17 large-scale social sciences surveys in Germany. Our descriptive results reveal that a common set of fieldwork indicators and measures exist on which the studied surveys rely. However, it also uncovers the need for additional design-specific indicators. Finally, it underlines the importance of a close cooperation between survey representatives and fieldwork agencies to optimize processes in fieldwork monitoring in the German survey context. The article concludes with implications for fieldwork practice

    Prevalence of refractive error in Europe: the European Eye Epidemiology (E3) Consortium

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    To estimate the prevalence of refractive error in adults across Europe. Refractive data (mean spherical equivalent) collected between 1990 and 2013 from fifteen population-based cohort and cross-sectional studies of the European Eye Epidemiology (E3) Consortium were combined in a random effects meta-analysis stratified by 5-year age intervals and gender. Participants were excluded if they were identified as having had cataract surgery, retinal detachment, refractive surgery or other factors that might influence refraction. Estimates of refractive error prevalence were obtained including the following classifications: myopia ≤−0.75 diopters (D), high myopia ≤−6D, hyperopia ≥1D and astigmatism ≥1D. Meta-analysis of refractive error was performed for 61,946 individuals from fifteen studies with median age ranging from 44 to 81 and minimal ethnic variation (98 % European ancestry). The age-standardised prevalences (using the 2010 European Standard Population, limited to those ≥25 and <90 years old) were: myopia 30.6 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 30.4–30.9], high myopia 2.7 % (95 % CI 2.69–2.73), hyperopia 25.2 % (95 % CI 25.0–25.4) and astigmatism 23.9 % (95 % CI 23.7–24.1). Age-specific estimates revealed a high prevalence of myopia in younger participants [47.2 % (CI 41.8–52.5) in 25–29 years-olds]. Refractive error affects just over a half of European adults. The greatest burden of refractive error is due to myopia, with high prevalence rates in young adults. Using the 2010 European population estimates, we estimate there are 227.2 million people with myopia across Europe

    Automated workflow-based exploitation of pathway databases provides new insights into genetic associations of metabolite profiles

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    Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that associate with clinical phenotypes, but these SNPs usually explain just a small part of the heritability and have relatively modest effect sizes. In contrast, SNPs that associate with metabolite levels generally explain a higher percentage of the genetic variation and demonstrate larger effect sizes. Still, the discovery of SNPs associated with metabolite levels is challenging since testing all metabolites measured in typical metabolomics studies with all SNPs comes with a severe multiple testing penalty. We have developed an automated workflow approach that utilizes prior knowledge of biochemical pathways present in databases like KEGG and BioCyc to generate a smaller SNP set relevant to the metabolite. This paper explores the opportunities and challenges in the analysis of GWAS of metabolomic phenotypes and provides novel insights into the genetic basis of metabolic variation through the re-analysis of published GWAS datasets. Results: Re-analysis of the published GWAS dataset from Illig et al. (Nature Genetics, 2010) using a pathway-based workflow (http://www.myexperiment.org/packs/319.html), confirmed previously identified hits and identified a new locus of human metabolic individuality, associating Aldehyde dehydrogenase family1 L1 (ALDH1L1) with serine/glycine ratios in blood. Replication in an independent GWAS dataset of phospholipids (Demirkan et al., PLoS Genetics, 2012) identified two novel loci supported by additional literature evidence: GPAM (Glycerol-3 phosphate acyltransferase) and CBS (Cystathionine beta-synthase). In addition, the workflow approach provided novel insight into the affected pathways and relevance of some of these gene-metabolite pairs in disease development and progression. Conclusions: We demonstrate the utility of automated exploitation of background knowledge present in pathway databases for the analysis of GWAS datasets of metabolomic phenotypes. We report novel loci and potential biochemical mechanisms that contribute to our understanding of the genetic basis of metabolic variation and its relationship to disease development and progression

    RANTES/CCL5 and risk for coronary events: Results from the MONICA/KORA Augsburg case-cohort, Athero-express and CARDIoGRAM studies

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    Background: The chemokine RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted)/CCL5 is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in mice, whereas less is known in humans. We hypothesised that its relevance for atherosclerosis should be reflected by associations between CCL5 gene variants, RANTES serum concentrations and protein levels in atherosclerotic plaques and risk for coronary events. Methods and Findings: We conducted a case-cohort study within the population-based MONICA/KORA Augsburg studies. Baseline RANTES serum levels were measured in 363 individuals with incident coronary events and 1,908 non-cases (mean follow-up: 10.2±

    Genome-wide association meta-analyses and fine-mapping elucidate pathways influencing albuminuria

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    Increased levels of the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) are associated with higher risk of kidney disease progression and cardiovascular events, but underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we conduct trans-ethnic (n = 564,257) and European-ancestry specific meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies of UACR, including ancestry- and diabetes-specific analyses, and identify 68 UACR-associated loci. Genetic correlation analyses and risk score associations in an independent electronic medical records database (n = 192,868) reveal connections with proteinuria, hyperlipidemia, gout, and hypertension. Fine-mapping and trans-Omics analyses with gene expression in 47 tissues and plasma protein levels implicate genes potentially operating through differential expression in kidney (including TGFB1, MUC1, PRKCI, and OAF), and allow coupling of UACR associations to altered plasma OAF concentrations. Knockdown of OAF and PRKCI orthologs in Drosophila nephrocytes reduces albumin endocytosis. Silencing fly PRKCI further impairs slit diaphragm formation. These results generate a priority list of genes and pathways for translational research to reduce albuminuria

    What does the general national pride item measure? Insights from web probing

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    The general national pride question is a popular item in cross-national studies of national identity. Although it is a single-item indicator, researchers use it as a proxy for different aspects of national identity, such as national belonging, different forms of patriotism, and nationalism. This article evaluates the suitability of this item as a cross-national indicator for these aspects of national identity. It assesses which aspects of national identity respondents have in mind when providing a response to this item, whether these associations differ across countries, and how well the item works as a measure for the different aspects of national identity. By means of web probing results from a web survey conducted in five countries (Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, Spain, and the United States), we reveal that the general national pride is not a suitable proxy single-item indicator for specific aspects of national identity in a cross-national context because respondents associate different aspects of national identity with this item (issue of validity) and these associations differ across countries (issue of comparability). In addition, we uncovered several problem types that distorted the answer selection of respondents (issue of reliability). The vagueness of this item and the associated issues make the general national pride item a rather problematic cross-national indicator for specific elements of national identity. In addition, this study illustrates the potential of web probing for evaluating the measurement quality of single-item indicators

    Using Apples and Oranges to Judge Quality?: Selection of Appropriate Cross-National Indicators of Response Quality in Open-Ended Questions

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    Methodological studies usually gauge response quality in narrative open-ended questions with the proportion of nonresponse, response length, response time, and number of themes mentioned by respondents. However, not all of these indicators may be comparable and appropriate for evaluating open-ended questions in a cross-national context. This study assesses the cross-national appropriateness of these indicators and their potential bias. For the analysis, we use data from two web surveys conducted in May 2014 with 2,685 respondents and in June 2014 with 2,689 respondents and compare responses from Germany, Great Britain, the United States, Mexico, and Spain. We assess open-ended responses for a variety of topics (e.g., national identity, gender attitudes, and citizenship) with these indicators and evaluate whether they arrive at similar or contradictory conclusions about response quality. We find that all indicators are potentially biased in a cross-national context due to linguistic and cultural reasons and that the bias differs in prevalence across topics. Therefore, we recommend using multiple indicators as well as items covering a range of topics when evaluating response quality in open-ended questions across countries

    Combining Quantitative Experimental Data with Web Probing: The Case of Individual Solutions for the Division of Labor Between Both Genders

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    In 2012, a new question was introduced into the International Social Survey Program (ISSP). It asks respondents to indicate what they consider the best division of labor between men and women. In this paper, we propose to assess the validity and cross-national comparability of this new ISSP question, using a mixed-methods approach that combines quantitative experimental data with qualitative probing data. We implemented our experiment in non-probability online surveys in five countries, in which half of the respondents received the original ISSP question and the other half a variant with an additional category saying “Each family should find the solution which works best for them.” In addition, the understanding of “individual solutions” was probed. We report on the understanding of this category

    Power, Culture and Item Nonresponse in Social Surveys

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    This chapter investigates a set of hypotheses linking dimensions of social status, power, diversity and culture to survey item nonresponse. Cross-national data drawn from 35 countries and 48,720 respondents who participated in the 2016 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) are examined, along with a series of relevant country-level indicators. These data are analyzed using multilevel mixed-effects negative binomial regression models. Findings support the marginalized group perspective and confirm its generalizability across a broad cross-section of countries. Based on these findings, the authors recommend that questionnaire developers consider the different motivations for item nonresponse and work to design their instruments to better encourage responses from members of marginalized groups

    Power, Culture and Item Nonresponse in Social Surveys

    No full text
    This chapter investigates a set of hypotheses linking dimensions of social status, power, diversity and culture to survey item nonresponse. Cross-national data drawn from 35 countries and 48,720 respondents who participated in the 2016 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) are examined, along with a series of relevant country-level indicators. These data are analyzed using multilevel mixed-effects negative binomial regression models. Findings support the marginalized group perspective and confirm its generalizability across a broad cross-section of countries. Based on these findings, the authors recommend that questionnaire developers consider the different motivations for item nonresponse and work to design their instruments to better encourage responses from members of marginalized groups
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