Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Non-participation in health examination surveys


A consortium project with National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), funded by Academy of Finland 2013-2017.

Logo of the project Non-participation in health examination surveys

NoPaHES web pages

Population level health examination surveys (HESs) provide important information about measured health, risk factors and health behaviours of general population. In Finland, HESs have been carried out regularly in adult population since 1972. During the past years, participation rates have declined dramatically, which is a serious problem. If we want that in the future HESs provide representative information about general population, we have to find solutions for the non-participation problem immediately. We will use the data collected in Finnish health examination surveys, which is link to the data from administrative registers. We will study socio-demographic characteristics of survey non-participants, their morbidity and mortality, effect of different recruitment methods and distance between participants home and examination site to the participation rates. Using statistical modelling, we will estimate the effect of non-participation to the representativeness of the results.

PhD student: Juho Kopra

Key collaborators: Tommi Härkänen (THL), Hanna Tolonen (THL) and Kari Kuulasmaa (THL)

Selected publications:

J. Karvanen, H. Tolonen, T. Härkänen, P. Jousilahti, K. Kuulasmaa Selection bias was reduced by recontacting non-participants, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.02.026, 2016.

T. Härkänen, J. Karvanen, H. Tolonen, R. Lehtonen, K. Djerf, T. Juntunen, S. Koskinen, Systematic handling of missing data in complex study designs - experiences from the Health 2000 and 2011 Surveys. Journal of Applied Statistics, DOI:10.1080/02664763.2016.1144725, 2016.

J. Kopra, T. Härkänen, H. Tolonen, J. Karvanen, Correcting for nonignorable missingness in smoking trendsStat 4(1), pages 1-14, 2015.