The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
Recruiting Ethnically Diverse General Internal Medicine Patients for a Telephone Survey on Physician-Patient Communication
Version of Record online: 20 APR 2005
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 20, Issue 5, pages 438–443, May 2005
How to Cite
Nápoles-Springer, A. M., Santoyo, J. and Stewart, A. L. (2005), Recruiting Ethnically Diverse General Internal Medicine Patients for a Telephone Survey on Physician-Patient Communication. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20: 438–443. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.0078.x
A poster was presented at the Society of General Internal Medicine 27th annual meeting, Chicago, IL, May 15, 2004.
- Issue online: 28 JUN 2008
- Version of Record online: 20 APR 2005
- Accepted for publication November 9, 2004
- telephone survey;
- African Americans;
- physician-patient communication
Background: Limited evidence exists on the effectiveness of recruitment methods among diverse populations.
Objective: Describe response rates by recruitment stage, ethnic-language group, and type of initial contact letter (for African-American and Latino patients).
Design: Tracking of response status by recruitment stage and ethnic-language group and a randomized trial of ethnically tailored initial letters nested within a cross-sectional telephone survey on physician-patient communication.
Participants: Adult general medicine patients with ≥1 visit during the preceding year, stratified by 4 categories: African-American (N= 1,400), English-speaking Latino (N= 894), Spanish-speaking Latino (N= 965), and non-Latino white (N= 1,400).
Measurements and Results: Ethnically tailored initial letters referred to shortages of African-American (or Latino) physicians and the need to learn about the experiences of African-American (or Latino) patients communicating with physicians. Of 2,482 patients contacted, eligible, and able to participate (identified eligibles), 69.9% completed the survey. Thirty-nine percent of the sampling frame was unable to be contacted, with losses higher among non-Latino whites (46.5%) and African Americans (44.2%) than among English-speaking (32.3%) and Spanish-speaking Latinos (25.1%). For identified eligibles, response rates were highest among Spanish-speaking Latinos (75.2%), lowest for non-Latino whites (66.4%), and intermediate for African Americans (69.7%) and English-speaking Latinos (68.1%). There were no differences in overall response rates between patients receiving ethnically tailored letters (72.2%) and those receiving general letters (70.0%).
Conclusions: Household contact and individual response rates differed by ethnic-language group, highlighting the importance of tracking losses by stage and subpopulation. Careful attention to recruitment yielded acceptable response rates among all groups.