A comparison of general practitioner response rates to electronic and postal surveys in the setting of the National STI Prevention Program
Article first published online: 7 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2011 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 187–189, April 2011
How to Cite
Crouch, S., Robinson, P. and Pitts, M. (2011), A comparison of general practitioner response rates to electronic and postal surveys in the setting of the National STI Prevention Program. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35: 187–189. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00687.x
- Issue published online: 5 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 7 MAR 2011
- Submitted: July 2010 Revision requested: September 2010 Accepted: October 2010
- Health care surveys;
- survey methods;
- general practitioners;
- sexually transmitted disease
Objective: To compare the response rates achieved for an online survey with a postal survey of general practitioners (GPs) as a method to evaluate the National STI Prevention Program.
Methods: All GPs in Australia were asked to complete an online survey. A further sample of 509 GPs were asked to complete a postal survey. Response rates to both recruitment methods were compared. The demographic characteristics of responders were compared to the entire GP population of Australia.
Results: Twenty GPs completed the online survey (response rate <0.1%). Sixty-three GPs completed the postal survey (response rate 12.4%). The demographic characteristics of those responding to the postal survey showed no statistically significant difference compared to the general GP population.
Conclusion: Our postal survey had a higher response rate than the online survey. Our response to the postal survey was lower than other similar studies and is likely to be due to a lack of incentives and follow-up. Even with the low response rate it appears that postal surveys can provide a good representation of the overall population.
Implications: Despite growing use of online surveys, postal surveys should still be the method of choice whenever possible. Postal surveys should include incentives and further follow-up of the initial recruitment should be conducted.