Date: September 21, 2009
From: Research Team, DDMAC
To: Elizabeth Berbakos, PRA Team, FDA
Subject: Justification to OMB for physician incentives for Mental Models Study of Health Care Providers Understanding of Prescription Drug Effectiveness (Docket No. FDA-2008-N-0589)
Physicians are a difficult group to recruit for participation in research (VanGeest, Johnson, & Welch, 2007). Sudman (1985) described five reasons why they may be difficult to recruit:
lack of time
perceived importance of the study
past response experiences
gatekeepers (e.g., receptionists, nurses)
These reasons have been supported in more recent studies (e.g., Heywood, Mudge, Ring, & Sanson-Fisher, 1995, Kaner, Haighton, & McAvoy, 1998; MacPherson & Bisset, 1995). VanGeest et al. (2007) conducted a systematic review to determine what methods, if any, increased the participation of physicians. They found that monetary compensation increased participation compared with nonmonetary incentives, and that personal payment increased participation compared with donation to charity or other non-personal incentive (Deehan, Templeton, Taylor, Drummond, & Strang, 1997; Gattellari & Ward, 2001).
The literature suggests that physicians must be paid to induce adequate participation. Physicians are extremely busy and have maintained a wall of protection between themselves and researchers. Although we feel that $100 is inadequate, we will attempt to recruit physicians using this rate. We will record interactions and provide a report to OMB on our progress.
Deehan, A., Templeton, L., Taylor, C., Drummond, C., & Strang, J. (1997). The effect of cash
and other financial inducements on the response rate of general practitioners in a national
postal survey. British Journal of General Practice, 47, 87-90.
Gattellari, M., & Ward, J.E. (2001). Will donations to their learned college increase surgeons’
participation in surveys? A randomized trial. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 54,
Heywood, A., Mudge, P., Ring, I., & Saonson-Fisher, R. (1995). Reducing systematic bias in
studies of general practitioners: The use of a medical peer in the recruitment of general
practitioners in research. Family Practice, 12, 227-231.
Kaner, E.F., Haighton, C.A., & McAvoy, B.R. (1998). “So much post, so busy with practice
—so, no time!”: A telephone survey of general practitioners’ reasons for not participating
in postal questionnaire surveys. British Journal of General Practice, 48, 1067-1069.
MacPherson, I., & Bisset, A. (1995). Not another questionnaire!: Eliciting the views of general
practitioners. Family Practice, 12, 335-338.
Sudman, S. (1985). Mail surveys of reluctant professionals. Evaluation Review, 9, 349-360.
VanGeest, J.B., Johnson, T.P., & Welch, V.L. (2007). Methodologies for improving response
rates in surveys of physicians: A systematic review. Evaluation of Health Professionals,
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