Does an offer for a free on-line continuing medical education (CME) activity increase physician survey response rate? A randomized trial Public Deposited

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  • Edwards, Teresa
    • Affiliation: Odum Institute for Research in Social Science
  • Viera, Anthony
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine
  • Abstract Background Achieving a high response rate in a physician survey is challenging. Monetary incentives increase response rates but obviously add cost to a survey project. We wondered whether an offer of a free continuing medical education (CME) activity would be effective in improving survey response rate. Results As part of a survey of a national sample of physicians, we randomized half to an offer for a free on-line CME activity upon completion of a web-based survey and the other half to no such offer. We compared response rates between the groups. A total of 1214 out of 8477 potentially eligible physicians responded to our survey, for an overall response rate of 14.3%. The response rate among the control group (no offer of CME credit) was 16.6%, while among those offered the CME opportunity, the response rate was 12.0% (p < 0.0001). Conclusions An offer for a free on-line CME activity did not improve physician survey response rate. On the contrary, the offer for a free CME activity actually appeared to worsen the response rate.
Date of publication
  • doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-129
  • 22397624
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Rights holder
  • Anthony J Viera et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Journal title
  • BMC Research Notes
Journal volume
  • 5
Journal issue
  • 1
Page start
  • 129
  • English
Is the article or chapter peer-reviewed?
  • Yes
  • 1756-0500
Bibliographic citation
  • BMC Research Notes. 2012 Mar 07;5(1):129
  • Open Access
  • BioMed Central Ltd

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