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1.  Differential effects of pre and post-payment on neurologists' response rates to a postal survey 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:100.
Background
Monetary incentives are an effective way of increasing response rates to surveys, though they are generally less effective in physicians, and are more effective when the incentive is paid up-front rather than when made conditional on completion.
Methods
In this study we examine the effectiveness of pre- and post-completion incentives on the response rates of all the neurologists in the UK to a survey about conversion disorder, using a cluster randomised controlled design. A postal survey was sent to all practicing consultant neurologists, in two rounds, including either a book token, the promise of a book token, or nothing at all.
Results
Three hundred and fifty-one of 591 eligible neurologists completed the survey, for a response rate of 59%. While the post-completion incentive exerted no discernible influence on response rates, a pre-completion incentive did, with an odds-ratio of 2.1 (95% confidence interval 1.5 - 3.0).
Conclusions
We conclude that neurologists, in the UK at least, may be influenced to respond to a postal survey by a pre-payment incentive but are unaffected by a promised reward.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-100
PMCID: PMC2984383  PMID: 20973984

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