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Clinical Practice Intensity: Comparing Veterans Affairs (VA) to Private Sector Physicians

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00853918
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 2, 2009
Last Update Posted : October 6, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):

Study Description
Brief Summary:
This is a national physician mail survey examining primary care practice patterns. The experimental component of the study (the clinical trial) is a randomized trial of different monetary incentive forms and amounts for physicians invited to participate in the study. Only non-VA physicians will be included in this part of the study. (VA physicians are not allowed to receive monetary incentives.) Physicians will be randomized to receive one of four incentives. The main outcome measure is the response rate.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Physician Survey Response Rates Other: $20 cash Other: $50 cash Other: $50 check Other: $100 check

Detailed Description:

This primary care physician survey is being conducted by Harris Interactive, an international survey research firm working collaboratively under contract to VA investigators heading the study. Surveys will be mailed to a random sample of 1000 non-VA primary care general internists practicing 20 or more clinical hours per week, identified via the Physician Masterfile of the American Medical Association.

The initial survey mailing, delivered via USPS Priority Mail, will include a cover letter inviting the physician to participate, a 12-page survey booklet (including a cover page, a 9-page survey, and 2 blank pages), a monetary incentive, and a prepaid addressed return envelope. The survey is estimated to take 20 minutes to complete. All survey recipients will also have the opportunity, as part of the survey, to request information about practice patterns in their community. Harris Interactive will randomly assign all invited (non-VA) physicians to receive one of four incentives, included in the initial survey mailing.

Non-responders will be contacted two additional times (at approximately 2 and 4 weeks following the initial mailing) by telephone and by mail. Subsequent mailings will include the survey, a cover letter, and a stamped addressed return envelope, but no monetary incentive.

Response rates will be compared between the four arms of the trial; between check v. cash; and between different denominations.

Study Design

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 1000 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Clinical Practice Intensity: Comparing VA to Private Sector Providers
Actual Study Start Date : June 1, 2009
Primary Completion Date : June 1, 2010
Study Completion Date : December 1, 2010
Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: $20 Cash Other: $20 cash
$20 cash incentive mailed with survey
Experimental: $50 Cash Other: $50 cash
$50 cash incentive mailed with survey
Experimental: $50 Check Other: $50 check
$50 check incentive mailed with survey
Experimental: $100 Check Other: $100 check
$100 check incentive mailed with survey

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Survey response rate [ Time Frame: 2 weeks, 2 months (primary), and 6 months after initial mailing ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Item non-response rates [ Time Frame: 2 weeks, 2 months (primary), and 6 months after initial mailing ]

Eligibility Criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Primary care general internists in the United States, identified through the AMA Physician Masterfile, who practice at least 20 hours per week are eligible to participate.
  • All physicians included in the sample to whom the survey packets are mailed will be included in the analysis of the incentive experiment, except those for whom a survey packet is returned as undeliverable and those non-respondents identified through follow-up procedures as non-locatable, deceased, or retired.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Physicians self-identified in the AMA Masterfile as medical subspecialists or hospitalists are excluded from the sample.

Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00853918

Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Brenda E Sirovich, MD MS White River Junction VA Medical Center, White River Junction, VT
More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00853918     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IIR 03-242
DMS-17632 ( Other Grant/Funding Number: White River Junction VAMC )
First Posted: March 2, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 6, 2017
Last Verified: October 2017

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
Physician survey
Mail survey
Response rate