Influence of Selection Bias in Survey Studies Derived From a Patient-Focused Organization: A Comparison of Response Data From a Single Tertiary Care Center and the Acoustic Neuroma Association.
The Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA) is a national, nonprofit organization, focused on the education and support of patients with vestibular schwannoma (VS). The aim of the present study is to characterize the profile of ANA survey respondents and compare them with non-ANA patients evaluated at a single tertiary academic referral center to investigate the potential influence of selection bias.A prospectively maintained VS quality-of-life (QOL) database, comprised of patients evaluated at the authors’ center and members of the ANA, was queried. Demographic variables, patient-reported symptoms and tumor characteristics, as well as patient-reported outcome scores were captured. Health-related QOL was evaluated using the disease-specific Penn Acoustic Neuroma QOL (PANQOL) questionnaire. Multivariable regression models were fitted for PANQOL domain and total scores as well as satisfaction with treatment adjusting for baseline demographics, symptoms, and PANQOL scores.A total of 1,060 patients (802 [76%] ANA respondents) were analyzed. Overall, ANA patients were slightly younger (mean age: 59 vs 60 yr, p = 0.145), more likely to be women (72 vs 55%, p