Volume 53 | Number 5 | October 2018

Abstract List

Qian Gu Ph.D., Andrea Hassol M.P.H., Alisha Creel Ph.D., Nancy L. Keating M.D., M.P.H.


To enhance proxy survey responses for deceased cancer patients.

Data Sources

Two waves of surveys about care experiences of cancer chemotherapy patients (used for a value‚Äźbased purchasing initiative), collected November 2016 through March 2017.

Study Design

Surveys were mailed to deceased patients (for proxy response) in the untailored first survey wave, and using a tailored strategy in the second wave. We compared proxy responses for deceased patients with and without the tailored approach.

Principal Findings

A tailored survey approach improved the proxy response rate from 17.6 percent to 39.0 percent.


Simple tailoring strategies can significantly enhance proxy response rates when surveying patients in a high mortality population. However, we were unable to address the impact of higher proxy response rates on response bias since we surveyed different patients in each wave.