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Table 1 Inclusion criteria and data abstraction protocol

From: Response rates in postal surveys of healthcare professionals between 1996 and 2005: An observational study

  Inclusion criteria Exclusion criteria
Surveys Self completed mail surveys including electronic surveys using fax, internet or email.
Health care topic.
Minimum 100 participants.
Published in English.
Reported response rate.
Telephone surveys, personal interviews and captive audience surveys.
Participants Healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, such as pharmacists, dentists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and radiographers. Students, patients and general public.
  Data Abstraction
Final response rate Number of usable questionnaires (completed or partially completed questionnaires) returned after the final reminder, divided by the total number sent.
Number of survey participants Studies were grouped into <250, 250-499, 500-749, 750-999, 1000-2499, > = 2500 participants.
Publication Type Standard or electronic format.
Health professional Doctor, nurse, allied health or mixed populations.
Country of study population Studies were grouped into US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, UK/Ireland, other European and other countries.
Questionnaire length Time required to complete questionnaire was used as a proxy for questionnaire length and estimated 3 pages or 8 questions per minute. Studies were grouped as <10 minutes, 10-19 minutes and > = 20 minutes.
Number of reminders Studies were grouped into no reminders, 1 reminder, 2 reminders and 3-5 reminders.
Reminders could be postal, telephone or electronic.
Use of financial incentives Cash or prize draw incentive.
Survey Type Surveys were classified as electronic if they were distributed by solely electronic processes. Those using only postal distribution or a mixed postal and electronic design were classified as postal.