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VOLUME 49 | NUMBER 4 | AUGUST 2014


The Effect of Response Scale, Administration Mode, and Format on Responses to the CAHPS Clinician and Group Survey

Keywords: CAHPS ;survey methods;patient experience surveys.

Objective: To examine how different response scales, methods of survey administration, and survey format affect responses to the CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Clinician and Group (CG-CAHPS) survey.

Study Design: A total of 6,500 patients from a university health center were randomly assigned to receive the following: standard 12-page mail surveys using 4-category or 6-category response scales (on CG-CAHPS composite items), telephone surveys using 4-category or 6-category response scales, or four-page mail surveys.

Principal Findings: A total of 3,538 patients completed surveys. Composite score means and provider-level reliabilities did not differ between respondents receiving 4-category or 6-category response scale surveys or between 12-page and four-page mail surveys. Telephone respondents gave more positive responses than mail respondents.

Conclusions: We recommend using 4-category response scales and the four-page mail CG-CAHPS survey.

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