The Effect of Varying Incentive Amounts on Physician Survey Response

HarmoniJoie Noel, Alison R Huang
Evaluation & the Health Professions 2018 November 1, : 163278718809844
A major challenge with surveying physicians is low response. In this article, we present results of an experiment conducted to determine the optimal monetary incentive amount for gaining response from physicians to a short screener survey. Sampled physicians were randomly assigned to three prepaid cash incentive conditions (US$2, US$5, US$10) compared to a control (US$0). This study found using any incentive increased response versus no incentive. The US$10 incentive produced the highest response and was significantly greater than the US$2 incentive group. However, we did not find a statistical difference between the $5 and US$10 incentives or between the US$2 and US$5 incentives. In addition, any incentive amount increased the likelihood of early response compared to no incentive. This study builds on previously mixed results about the effects of various incentive amounts and effect on early survey response. These findings provide practical advice for researchers surveying physicians.


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