Postal surveys of physicians gave superior response rates over telephone interviews in a randomized trial

Jane S. Hocking, M. S C Lim, Tim Read, Margaret Hellard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Objectives: To compare general practitioner (GP) response to a telephone interview with response to a postal survey with three reminders in a randomized controlled trial. Methods: GPs were randomly assigned to either a telephone interview or a postal survey. GPs in the telephone group were mailed a letter of invitation and asked to undertake a telephone interview. GPs in the postal group were mailed a letter of invitation and questionnaire. Non-responders were sent up to three reminders, the final by registered post. Response rates were calculated for each group. Results: 416 GPs were randomized to the telephone interview and 451 to the postal survey. Eighty-six in the telephone group and 30 in the postal were ineligible. One hundred thirty-four GPs completed the telephone interview with a response rate of 40.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 35.3%, 46.1%). Two hundred fifty-two GPs completed the postal survey with a response rate of 59.9% (95%CI: 55.0%, 64.6%). The difference in response was 19.3% (95%CI: 12.2%, 26.3%). Conclusions: These results show that postal surveys with three reminders can have superior response rates compared with a telephone interview.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-524
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume59
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006

Keywords

  • General practitioners
  • Postal survey
  • RCT
  • Response rate
  • Telephone interview

Cite this

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abstract = "Background and Objectives: To compare general practitioner (GP) response to a telephone interview with response to a postal survey with three reminders in a randomized controlled trial. Methods: GPs were randomly assigned to either a telephone interview or a postal survey. GPs in the telephone group were mailed a letter of invitation and asked to undertake a telephone interview. GPs in the postal group were mailed a letter of invitation and questionnaire. Non-responders were sent up to three reminders, the final by registered post. Response rates were calculated for each group. Results: 416 GPs were randomized to the telephone interview and 451 to the postal survey. Eighty-six in the telephone group and 30 in the postal were ineligible. One hundred thirty-four GPs completed the telephone interview with a response rate of 40.6{\%} (95{\%} confidence interval [CI]: 35.3{\%}, 46.1{\%}). Two hundred fifty-two GPs completed the postal survey with a response rate of 59.9{\%} (95{\%}CI: 55.0{\%}, 64.6{\%}). The difference in response was 19.3{\%} (95{\%}CI: 12.2{\%}, 26.3{\%}). Conclusions: These results show that postal surveys with three reminders can have superior response rates compared with a telephone interview.",
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Postal surveys of physicians gave superior response rates over telephone interviews in a randomized trial. / Hocking, Jane S.; Lim, M. S C; Read, Tim; Hellard, Margaret.

In: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Vol. 59, No. 5, 01.05.2006, p. 521-524.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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