• Presentation

Exploring Visual Enhancements on a Mail Survey of Physicians

Citation

Geisen, E., Severance, J., Murphy, J., & Olmsted, M. G. (2010, May). Exploring Visual Enhancements on a Mail Survey of Physicians. Presented at AAPOR 2010, .

Abstract

Objective. This study evaluates the response rate effects of using visual enhancements for a survey of physicians. We implemented an experimental design using a combination of custom Best Hospitals stamps on the survey envelope vs. a standard American flag stamp and a picture on the survey form vs. no picture.

Data Sources. A national survey of 4,700 board-certified physicians was conducted as part of U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s Best Hospitals. Study Design. Stratifying by region and specialty, physicians were randomly assigned to be in the control group or one of the experimental treatment groups.

Data Collection. The experiments were combined in a 2x2 factorial design such that physicians were assigned to one of four groups. The first group received the custom Best Hospitals stamp and a photo-version of the survey. The second group also received the custom stamp, but received the text-version of the survey. The third group received the standard American flag stamp and the photo-version of the survey. The fourth group, which was the control, received the standard flag stamp and the text-only survey.

Principal Findings. The use of a picture on the survey form had no effect on response rates. Adult specialists who received the custom Best Hospitals stamp had significantly different response rates than those who received the American Flag stamp. The adult specialists who received the custom stamp were less likely to respond to the survey. Although the custom stamp created for this study was not successful at increasing response rates, other custom stamps with more tailored content might yield better results.