Why are response rates in clinician surveys declining? Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: To understand why response rates in clinician surveys are declining. DESIGN: Cross-sectional fax-back survey. SETTING: British Columbia. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of family physicians and all gynecologists in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia's registry. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Accuracy of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia's registry, and the prevalence and characteristics of physicians with policies not to participate in any surveys. RESULTS: Of 542 physicians who received surveys, 76 (14.0%) responded. On follow-up we found the following: the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia's registry was inaccurate for 94 (17.3%) listings; 14 (2.6%) physicians were away; 100 (18.5%) were not eligible; and 197 (36.3%) had an office policy not to participate in any surveys. Compared with the respondents, physicians with an office policy not to participate in any surveys were more likely to be men, less likely to be white, more likely to have urban-based practices, and more likely to have been in practice for more than 15 years. CONCLUSION: Many physicians have an office policy not to participate in any surveys. Owing to the trend of lower response rates, recommendations of minimum response rates for clinician surveys by many journals might need to be reassessed.

publication date

  • April 2012