Statistical and methodological issues in the analysis of complex sample survey data: Practical guidance for trauma researchers

Standard methods for the analysis of survey data assume that the data arise from a simple random sample of the target population. In practice, analysts of survey data sets collected from nationally representative probability samples often pay little attention to important properties of the survey data. Standard statistical software procedures do not allow analysts to take these properties of survey data into account. A failure to use more specialized procedures designed for survey data analysis can impact both simple descriptive statistics and estimation of parameters in multivariate models. In this article, the author provides trauma researchers with a practical introduction to specialized methods that have been developed for the analysis of complex sample survey data.