A cluster-randomized trial of the significance of a reminder procedure in a patient evaluation survey in general practice
International Journal for Quality in Health Care
Objectives. To determine whether adding a reminder procedure to the personal handing out of questionnaires to patients by general practitioners (GPs) in a patient evaluation survey added further information to the study and whether this influenced the results of the evaluations fed back to the GPs. Design. Patient evaluation survey in general practice. Study participants. 6822 patients consulting 60 GPs in a Danish county. GPs were voluntarily participating in a national patient evaluation
... ct. Intervention. We used the EUROPEP instrument for patient evaluation in general practice. It contains 23 items in five dimensions and two additional questions on general satisfaction. GPs were randomized into two groups with and without a reminder procedure. Main outcome measure. Scores in the six assessment dimensions and patient characteristics were compared for the primary and the reminder respondents and between the two randomization groups. In the analyses, we adjusted for the clustering of patients. Results. We found that the use of a reminder procedure increased the response rate. Respondents to a reminder were younger than the primary responding patients and were more critical in their GP assessment. The reminder responses, though, did not change the evaluation results. Conclusions. Adding a reminder procedure to the face-to-face handing out of questionnaires to patients by the GPs increased the response rate significantly but produced no clinically significant differences in the assessment of the GPs.