To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a lottery on physicians' responses to a mail survey, a randomized controlled trial was conducted with a random sample of 1,000 members of the Quebec Federation of General Practitioners in 1997. For the first mailing of this survey, each respondent was randomly assigned to the control or experimental group, which was offered participation in a lottery upon return of the questionnaire. Response rate was 41.2% in the experimental group and 34.8% in the control group, a 6.4% difference (CI95%: 0.6%-12.6%). The additional cost of the lottery was about Can$500, giving an incremental cost of Can$16 per questionnaire returned. In conclusion, a lottery resulted in a small but statistically significant increase in the response rate of physicians to a mail survey. This method may be a cost-effective option when applied to large surveys.
To assess influenza vaccination status and influenza vaccination practices of family physicians in Quebec.
Mail survey of a random sample of 1000 family physicians.
Family practices in the province of Quebec.
Of 1000 Quebec family physicians sent questionnaires, 550 responded. After excluding physicians who worked only in institutions, had no patients older than 65 years, or did clinical work less than 20% of the time, 379 respondents were eligible for the study.
Vaccination status of family physicians in 1996 and professional practices based on six clinical and administrative activities pertaining to influenza vaccination.
Prevalence of vaccination was 35.5% (95% confidence interval 30.8% to 40.4%) among responding physicians and was higher among those 60 years and older, those with a chronic condition, and those perceiving high peer pressure to get vaccinated. Most respondents frequently assessed the current influenza vaccination status of their patients, risk factors for influenza-related complications, and contraindications to the vaccine. They also frequently provided education about influenza and its vaccine, recommended vaccination, and administered the vaccine. Only a few reported assessing prior influenza vaccinations or recording vaccination status regularly. Finally, vaccinated physicians recommended the vaccine more frequently to their patients than unvaccinated physicians did.
Promotion programs focusing on peer influence could increase vaccination of family physicians. This could in turn improve vaccination coverage of elderly patients.
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