Mixed-mode survey of female veterinarians yields high response rate

J. R. Wilkins, W. D. Hueston, J. Mac Crawford, L. L. Steele, D. F. Gerken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In a recent study of female veterinarians, a subgroup of health professionals growing rapidly in number, the authors employed a mixed-mode survey design in targeting the cohort of women graduating from all US veterinary colleges during the 11-year period 1970-80 (n = 2997). The questionnaire elicited information on a variety of health and occupational factors and required 35 minutes on average to complete. In the first stage, a modified version of Dillman's Total Design Method for mailed, self-administered questionnaires was employed, yielding a response rate of 82.9%. In the second stage, a telephone interview of all mail non-respondents was attempted, yielding a response rate here of only 30.1%, but increasing the overall response rate among those contacted to 90.2%. Non-respondents differed little from mail (early) or telephone (late) respondents with respect to year of graduation and geographic region of veterinary college attendance. Gentle probing of telephone non-respondents suggested the personal nature of some questions and the amount of time required to answer all questions were the main reasons they chose not to participate. It therefore appears that conventional survey techniques may be successfully employed in health studies of health professionals, particularly if issues of great concern to the target population are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-462
Number of pages5
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by Grant No. 5R03OH02380 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Hearth.


  • Cohort studies
  • Public health
  • Survey methods
  • Veterinary medicine


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