The reference period is the time frame for which survey respondents are asked to report activities or experiences of interest. Many surveys intend to measure frequencies of events or instances within a given period of time; for example, How many times did you consult a medical practitioner during the last two months? or Think about the 2 weeks ending yesterday—have you cut down on any of the things you usually do about the house, at work, or in your free time because of illness or injury? Most of the time, the reference period starts at some point in the past and ends at the time of the survey. However, there are fixed reference periods as well—for example, a calendar year or a calendar quarter, depending ...
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