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Binner, fillers and filers - A qualitative study of GPs who don't return postal questionnaires

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background and Objectives: Postal questionnaires are a frequently used method of obtaining information from general practitioners. However, getting GPs to return questionnaires or participate in research can be challenging. We wanted to ascertain reasons why GPs, identified as 'routine non-responders' to postal questionnaires, do not to participate in this type of research. Methods: Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews of 14 GPs who had returned only one or none of five questionnaires sent to them during a five-year period between 1994 and 1999. Results: Participants were classified into one of three groups - binners, filers, and fillers - according to their behaviour when faced with a questionnaire. Each group had slightly different attitudes toward research in general practice. Although standard strategies such as incentives and good design could influence the decision to complete a questionnaire, poor research experiences or a poor relationship between the participant and researchers were also very important. Conclusion: The decision not to return a postal questionnaire is multifactorial and reflects personal and professional attitudes, experiences and organisation of individual GPs as well as time pressure and interest. The development of a positive relationship with a researcher or academic department may be influential in encouraging the return of postal questionnaires and when trying to enhance response rates amongst 'routine non-responders' researchers should take into account the broader values and practices GPs bring to their work.

Publication Date


  • 2004

Citation


  • Stocks, N., Braunack-Mayer, A., Somerset, M., & Gunnell, D. (2004). Binner, fillers and filers - A qualitative study of GPs who don't return postal questionnaires. European Journal of General Practice, 10(4), 146-151. doi:10.3109/13814780409044302

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-12344327648

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 146

End Page


  • 151

Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • Background and Objectives: Postal questionnaires are a frequently used method of obtaining information from general practitioners. However, getting GPs to return questionnaires or participate in research can be challenging. We wanted to ascertain reasons why GPs, identified as 'routine non-responders' to postal questionnaires, do not to participate in this type of research. Methods: Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews of 14 GPs who had returned only one or none of five questionnaires sent to them during a five-year period between 1994 and 1999. Results: Participants were classified into one of three groups - binners, filers, and fillers - according to their behaviour when faced with a questionnaire. Each group had slightly different attitudes toward research in general practice. Although standard strategies such as incentives and good design could influence the decision to complete a questionnaire, poor research experiences or a poor relationship between the participant and researchers were also very important. Conclusion: The decision not to return a postal questionnaire is multifactorial and reflects personal and professional attitudes, experiences and organisation of individual GPs as well as time pressure and interest. The development of a positive relationship with a researcher or academic department may be influential in encouraging the return of postal questionnaires and when trying to enhance response rates amongst 'routine non-responders' researchers should take into account the broader values and practices GPs bring to their work.

Publication Date


  • 2004

Citation


  • Stocks, N., Braunack-Mayer, A., Somerset, M., & Gunnell, D. (2004). Binner, fillers and filers - A qualitative study of GPs who don't return postal questionnaires. European Journal of General Practice, 10(4), 146-151. doi:10.3109/13814780409044302

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-12344327648

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 146

End Page


  • 151

Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 4