Getting physicians to respond: the impact of incentive type and timing on physician survey response rates.


Journal Article

To study the effects of payment timing, form of payment, and requiring a social security number (SSN) on survey response rates.Third-wave mailing of a U.S. physician survey.Nonrespondents were randomized to receive immediate U.S.$25 cash, immediate U.S.$25 check, promised U.S.$25 check, or promised U.S.$25 check requiring an SSN.Paper survey responses were double entered into statistical software.Response rates differed significantly between remuneration groups (χ(3) (2) = 80.1, p<.0001), with the highest rate in the immediate cash group (34 percent), then immediate check (20 percent), promised check (10 percent), and promised check with SSN (8 percent).Immediate monetary incentives yield higher response rates than promised in this population of nonresponding physicians. Promised incentives yield similarly low response rates regardless of whether an SSN is requested.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • James, KM; Ziegenfuss, JY; Tilburt, JC; Harris, AM; Beebe, TJ

Published Date

  • February 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 / 1 Pt 1

Start / End Page

  • 232 - 242

PubMed ID

  • 20880042

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20880042

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1475-6773

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0017-9124

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2010.01181.x


  • eng