Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Effects of disseminating research findings on response rates in a community survey: a randomised controlled trial
  1. D S Morrison1,
  2. H Thomson2,
  3. M Petticrew2
  1. 1Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr D S Morrison, Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Dalian House, PO Box 15329, 350 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G3 8YZ, UK; 

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Response rates to postal questionnaire surveys are declining,1 particularly in areas of deprivation.2 These may limit the external and internal validity of the findings of such studies. A recent systematic review3 identified interventions that may be effective in improving response rates although no trial was identified that evaluated the effectiveness of feeding back research findings to respondents.

As part of an evaluation of the health impacts of building a traffic calming scheme, we surveyed local residents six months before (first survey) and six months after (second survey) the scheme was built. We carried out a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effects of a study feedback information leaflet on response rates to the second postal questionnaire survey.


We randomly selected 750 addresses from the study population of 2587 residents to send our first survey (see fig 1). The second survey was sent to 576 addresses after we excluded undeliverable addresses and refusals …

View Full Text


  • Funding: Mark Petticrew and Hilary Thomson are employed by the Medical Research Council and funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Department of Health. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of either the Chief Scientist Office or the MRC.

  • Copies of the questionnaires and study leaflet can be obtained from David Morrison.

Linked Articles