The effect of message type on physician compliance with disease reporting requirements.
Brissette I; Gelberg KH; Grey AJ
Public Health Rep 2006 Nov-Dec; 121(6):703-709
Objective. Despite the existence of mandatory reporting laws, the underreporting of disease conditions to public health authorities is widespread. This article describes an evaluation of the effects of using different appeals to promote complete and timely reporting to the New York State Occupational Lung Disease Registry (NYS OLDR). Methods. Three-hundred sixty-eight physicians who had not reported patients were randomly assigned to receive correspondence emphasizing either the legal obligation to report, the public health benefits of reporting, or both. Chi-square tests were used to determine if the proportion of physicians who subsequently reported patients differed by message group. Chi-square tests and the Kruskall Wallis rank sum test were used to test for differences in the completeness and timeliness of reports received from physicians in the three message groups. Results. Physicians receiving correspondence describing the legal obligation to report were more likely to report patients than those receiving only the benefit message, while those receiving correspondence describing the public health benefits of reporting submitted more complete reports than those receiving only the obligation message. Conclusions. To maximize physician reporting, it is important for public health agencies to emphasize both the legal and public health basis for reporting conditions in correspondence to physicians.
Health-care-personnel; Physicians; Epidemiology; Questionnaires; Information-systems; Information-retrieval-systems
Ian Brissette, PhD, New York State Dept. of Health, Flanigan Square, 547 River St., Rm. 230, Troy, NY
Public Health Reports
Center of Environmental Health, Menands, New York