|Title||Response to mail surveys: effect of a request to explain refusal to participate. The ARIC Study Investigators.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1993|
|Authors||Shahar E, Bisgard KM, Folsom AR|
|Date Published||1993 Sep|
|Keywords||Cooperative Behavior, Epidemiologic Methods, Health Surveys, Humans, Postal Service, Surveys and Questionnaires|
As part of a mailed health survey, we investigated the effect on the response rate of a request to explain refusal to participate. Subjects (N = 1,240) were randomized either to receive or not to receive, with the first mailing, a letter requesting an explanation of their decision not to fill out the questionnaire, if they chose that option. There was a slightly higher cumulative response during most of the study from subjects who had been sent the request, but little difference between the two study groups in the ultimate response rate [80% from the intervention group vs 83% from the control group; response rate difference = -3%; 95% confidence limits (CL) = -7%, 1%]. Of 209 individuals who were sent the request and did not return the questionnaire, only 15 (7%) sent back an explanation. A request to explain a refusal to participate in a mail survey neither jeopardized the response rate nor enhanced it.
|Grant List||N0-HC-55019 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States|