Volume 46 | Number 1p1 | February 2011

Abstract List

Katherine M. James, Jeanette Y. Ziegenfuss, Jon C. Tilburt, Ann M. Harris, Timothy J. Beebe


To study the effects of payment timing, form of payment, and requiring a social security number (SSN) on survey response rates.

Data Source

Third‐wave mailing of a U.S. physician survey.

Study Design

Nonrespondents were randomized to receive immediate U.S.$25 cash, immediate U.S.$25 check, promised U.S.$25 check, or promised U.S.$25 check requiring an SSN.

Data Collection Methods

Paper survey responses were double entered into statistical software.

Principal Findings

Response rates differed significantly between remuneration groups (=80.1, <.0001), with the highest rate in the immediate cash group (34 percent), then immediate check (20 percent), promised check (10 percent), and promised check with SSN (8 percent).


Immediate monetary incentives yield higher response rates than promised in this population of nonresponding physicians. Promised incentives yield similarly low response rates regardless of whether an SSN is requested.