Methodological issues in studying an insular, traditional population: A women’s health survey among israeli haredi (Ultra-orthodox) jews

David A. Rier, Avraham Schwartzbaum, Chaya Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes obstacles encountered and strategies devised in planning and conducting a national telephone health survey (n = 459) of an insular, deeply traditional religious population, haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) Israeli women. The paper discusses how special characteristics of this population influenced study design, sampling, data collection, and interpretation. Sampling employed polling data to identify haredi concentrations. Despite haredim's reputation for low survey participation, we achieved a 71–74% response rate (depending on the unknown eligibility of 24 phones never answered) in interviews conducted in 2003–2004. We describe our systematic attention to special aspects of haredi culture such as: Modesty and speech codes; the need for rabbinic endorsement; and the importance of female, haredi interviewers. This research was initiated and managed by a community-based women's health non-governmental organization, in partnership with trained researchers. Our experiences can guide others surveying insular communities, such as traditional Muslim and Christian societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-381
Number of pages19
JournalWomen and Health
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Haredi
  • Survey research
  • Ultra-Orthodox
  • Women's health

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