Mission Statement

The Health Survey Research Methods conference series has two primary goals:

  • The long-range goal is to improve the quality of health survey data that are collected and to enhance their value and use by decision makers responsible for shaping health practices, policies, and programs.
  • The immediate goal is to provide a forum in which methodologists can discuss the state-of-the-art in data collection, identify major problems and needs, and define issues, hypotheses, and priorities to guide future research.


This series of conferences began in 1975 when a group of researchers representing academic institutions and government research agencies met informally to discuss what was known about health survey research methods. Sponsored by the National Center for Health Services Research and the National Center for Health Statistics, a group of about 40 invited researchers active in methodological studies came together to discuss the current state of the art of health survey research and to identify areas and issues for continuing research. The format of this first conference employed a semi-structured program centered around four major topics that included a number of salient issues under each topic. A planning committee member served as the chair for one topic on the agenda with each chair inviting a specific individual to serve as the rapporteur, or recorder for his session. Each of the major topics was given approximately one-half day for open and free discussion. No formal papers were presented. The proceedings of those discussions were published as a resource for health services researchers. 

Participants of this first conference thought that the topical focus and relatively informal program led to important discussions about the state of health survey methods. Ten similar conferences followed, with the most recent, in March 2020. Each has been planned by a steering committee of government and academic researchers who help to identify major themes. Conferences employ both prepared papers and presentations but allow Each has been planned by a steering committee of government and academic researchers who help to identify major themes. Conferences employ both prepared papers and presentations but allow ample time for discussion. Participation is by invitation only to a limited number of participants. Invited presentations are presented in plenary sessions and rapporteurs develop summaries of floor discussion to accompany formal papers. Conference findings are disseminated through published proceedings..

Themes across the conferences represent timely and enduring research problems faced by those conducting health surveys. For example, the first conference addressed questionnaire design, interviewers and interviewing techniques, validity of survey data and total survey design. Subsequent conferences addressed a broader array of survey methodological challenges including nonresponse, respondent burden, standardized measurement, ethics, sample design and estimation, cross-cultural considerations, modes of data collection, and state and local data needs from surveys.

While there have been important changes in major health policy issues, the essential survey conditions faced by health survey methodologists have evolved as the population has become increasingly diverse. Yet the methodological challenges continue to revolve around a common set of enduring themes.

Each conference provides an opportunity to address the most important methodological problems of the day and anticipate future health policy and survey methodology developments.

Steering Committee

All conferences in the Health Survey Research Methods conference series are planned and implemented by a steering committee, composed of representatives from academic and research communities and federal agencies that support the conference. Planning for the 12th HSRM conference began in 2023 with the formation of the current steering committee, many of whom have served on one or more previous committees. 

Paul Beatty (Co-Chair)
Jennifer Dykema (Co-Chair)
University of Wisconsin
Timothy Beebe
University of Minnesota
Eran Ben-Porath
Stephen Blumberg
National Center for Health Statistics/Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Karen Bogen
Sadeq Chowdhury
AHRQ/Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Leah Christian
Douglas Currivan
RTI International
Brad Edwards
Liz Hamel
Kaiser Family Foundation
Tim Johnson
University of Illinois at Chicago
Edward Kelly (Conference Coordinator)
Kathy Piscopo
SAMHSA/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Lisa Thalji
RTI International

Past Proceedings

Proceedings for each HSRM conference have been published since the very first conference in 1975 and are available now. These proceedings detail the findings and summarize the activities of the conference. The proceedings from all HSRM conferences are available below. For the Eleventh conference we have provided a summary of events and a link to the program to view all presentations and rapporteur notes.