Routinely asking about income in primary care: a mixed-methods study
This study examined response bias and evaluated patient perspectives of being asked about income in primary care. We found that female patients, minorities, caregivers of young children and seniors were less likely to respond. From interviews, many patients were comfortable answering the income question, particularly if they understood the connection between income and health, and believed the data would be used to improve care. Several patients found it difficult to estimate their income or felt the options did not reflect fluctuating financial circumstances. In summary, many patients will provide data on income in the context of a survey in primary care, but accurately estimating income can be challenging.