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

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified June 2010 by White River Junction VAMC.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
Information provided by:
White River Junction VAMC Identifier:
First received: February 27, 2009
Last updated: June 4, 2010
Last verified: June 2010
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: $20 cash, $50 cash, a $50 check, or a $100 check. The main outcome measure is the response rate.

Condition Intervention
Physician Survey Response Rates Other: $20 cash Other: $50 cash Other: $50 check Other: $100 check

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Clinical Practice Intensity: Comparing VA to Private Sector Physicians

Further study details as provided by White River Junction VAMC:

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

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

Estimated Enrollment: 1000
Study Start Date: June 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2010
Primary Completion Date: June 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
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

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:

$20 cash

$50 cash

$50 check

$100 check

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.


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
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00853918

United States, Vermont
VA Medical Center
White River Junction, Vermont, United States, 05009
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Principal Investigator: Brenda E Sirovich, MD, MS VA Office of Research and Development
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Brenda Sirovich, MD MS, Staff Physician and Research Associate, VA Medical Center Identifier: NCT00853918     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: DMS-17632
VA HSR&D IIR 03-242
Study First Received: February 27, 2009
Last Updated: June 4, 2010

Keywords provided by White River Junction VAMC:
Physician survey
Mail survey
Response rate processed this record on July 27, 2017