Use of mobile devices to answer online surveys: Implications for research


Background: There is a growing use of mobile devices to access the Internet. We examined whether participants who used a mobile device to access a brief online survey were quicker to respond to the survey but also, less likely to complete it than participants using a traditional web browser. Findings: Using data from a recently completed online intervention trial, we found that participants using mobile devices were quicker to access the survey but less likely to complete it compared to participants using a traditional web browser. More concerning, mobile device users were also less likely to respond to a request to complete a six week follow-up survey compared to those using traditional web browsers. Conclusions: With roughly a third of participants using mobile devices to answer an online survey in this study, the impact of mobile device usage on survey completion rates is a concern. Trial registration: NCT01521078



Internet, Brief intervention, Alcohol, College, Universities, Mobile devices


Copyright 2013 BMC Research Notes. Recommended citation: Cunningham, John A., Clayton Neighbors, Nicolas Bertholet, and Christian S. Hendershot. “Use of Mobile Devices to Answer Online Surveys: Implications For Research.” BMC Research Notes 6, no. 258 (2013): 1-4. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-6-258. URL: Reproduced in accordance with licensing terms and with the author’s permission.