Response rates in GP surveys: Trialling two recruitment strategies

Billie Bonevski, Parker Magin, Graeme Horton, Mark Foster, Afaf Girgis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study aimed to examine the efficacy of two strategies for improving general practitioner response to a survey. A secondary aim was to assess GPs' self reported preferred mode of survey administration. Method: A random sample of 1666 GPs practising in New South Wales was selected from the Australasian Medical Publishing Company database. Two randomised trials of strategies aimed at increasing response rates were embedded in a larger cross sectional survey. Results: Of the 1666 GPs sampled, 52 were ineligible and 500 completed the survey. The response rates obtained in the trial of standard research group letterhead invitations alone (25.8%) versus division of general practice cover letter (32.5%) were not statistically significantly different; nor were the response rates obtained in the trial of a telephone reminder call. When asked about preferred mode of survey administration, 81.1% of respondents nominated mailed survey. Discussion: The study failed to identify strategies to improve GP participation in the survey. This survey found no basis for supporting electronic GPs surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-430
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Data collection/methods
  • General practice
  • Health care surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Research


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