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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal
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Volume 7: No. 5, September 2010

COMMUNITY CASE STUDY
Achieving a High Response Rate With a Health Care Provider Survey, Washington State, 2006

This flow chart depicts the following: 7,128 primary care physicians were available in Washington State, from which 838 were randomly selected. Of these 838, 739 were eligible and 99 were ineligible returns. Of the eligible physicians, 558 completed a survey, for a response rate of 75% (unadjusted) to 78% (adjusted), 5 refused, a <1% refusal rate, and 176 were nonrespondents. 1,464 physician assistants were available in the state, from which 600 were randomly selected. Of these 600, 435 were eligible, and 165 were ineligible returns. Of the eligible returns, 328 completed the survey, for a response rate of 75% (unadjusted) to 82% (adjusted), 2 refused, a <1% refusal rate, and 105 were nonrespondents.

Figure. Final study disposition for physicians and physician assistants, Health Care Provider Survey, Washington State, 2006. Response rates are presented as the range of unadjusted to adjusted percentages. Unadjusted response rate is the proportion of surveys completed by total number of eligible providers; nonrespondents are included in the denominator. Adjusted response rate assumes that the proportion of nonrespondents is equivalent to the proportion of providers for whom eligibility or ineligibility could be determined. This proportion for physicians was 85% (completed plus refused divided by total sample with nonrespondents removed). We considered 85% of the 176 nonrespondents as “likely eligible” (n = 150). Therefore, the denominator for the physicians’ adjusted response rate was the sum of completed surveys plus refused plus “likely eligible” (n = 713). The analogous proportion for physician assistants was 67%. Ineligible returns include those not meeting study inclusion criteria and surveys returned as undeliverable. Abbreviations: WSMA, Washington State Medical Association; WADOH, Washington State Department of Health.

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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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