Brief Report: Respondent-driven Sampling Estimators Under Real and Theoretical Recruitment Conditions of Female Sex Workers in China.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We compare the performance of multiple respondent-driven sampling estimators under different sample recruitment conditions in hidden populations of female sex workers in the midst of China's ongoing epidemic of sexually transmitted infections. We first examine empirically calibrated simulations grounded in survey data to evaluate the relative performance of each estimator under ideal sampling conditions consistent with respondent-driven sampling assumptions and under conditions that mimic observed respondent-driven sampling recruitment processes. One estimator, which incorporates respondents' reports on their network of contacts, substantially out-performs the others under all conditions. We then apply the estimators to empirical samples of female sex workers collected in two Chinese cities that include unique data on respondents' networks. These empirical results are consistent with the simulation results, suggesting that traditional respondent-driven sampling estimators overestimate the proportion of female sex workers working in low tiers of sex work and are likely to overstate the sexually transmitted infection risk profiles of these populations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Verdery, AM; Merli, MG; Moody, J; Smith, JA; Fisher, JC

Published Date

  • September 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 661 - 665

PubMed ID

  • 26214337

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4617539

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-5487

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000335


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States