Maximizing the response rate to surveys involves thoughtful choices about survey design, sampling and collection methods. This paper describes an innovative survey method, to provide immediate reinforcement for responding and to minimize the response cost. This method involves using a questionnaire printed as checks on security (anti-fraud) paper with questions and responses separated using a perforated tear off section. Once a participant completes the survey, the response area is detached from the questions, thus protecting the confidentiality of the subject, and the check is returned via the banking system. This report describes the survey-check methodology, the survey flow process, and the results from four research studies which have used this method. These studies include (1) a technology accessibility survey of parents with children enrolled in a low-income preschool program; (2) a parent report of their child’s behavior used as screening criteria for inclusion in a computer-mediated parent education project; (3) a follow-up questionnaire as part of a longitudinal study of child behavior, covering home and classroom interventions, and service utilization, and; (4) a survey of dentists in support of efforts to recruit them to participate in a randomized control trial of tobacco cessation in dental offices. The results of using this method show great improvement in response rates over traditionally administered surveys for three of the four reported studies. Results are discussed in terms of future applications of this method, limitations, and potential cost savings.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 16, 2006
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