Letter to the Editor  |   June 2016
Electronic Survey Opinion Polls: Are They Really Worth It?
Author Affiliations
  • Muhammad Rafique, M.D.
    Associate Professor of Anesthesiology UTHealth, McGovern Medical School, Houston
  • Kayla R. Bober, CAA
    Clinical Instructor UTHealth, McGovern Medical School, Houston
Article Information
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   June 2016
Electronic Survey Opinion Polls: Are They Really Worth It?
ASA Monitor 06 2016, Vol.80, 69.
ASA Monitor 06 2016, Vol.80, 69.
Physicians often face challenges in decision-making related to patient care. If there are no clear guidelines, conducting an electronic survey (e.g., PracticalSurveys, SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, SurveyGizmo, PollDaddy, etc.) is always an option. Surveys can be a useful research tool. They are usually done through the society membership email list of the respective specialty, but sometimes they are done through other sources. It can be difficult knowing if these surveys are representative of true expert opinion or are a statistically reliable opinion sample. There are several factors which influence the response rate: knowledge of the upcoming survey, accuracy of the email list, recipient spam filters, length and complexity of survey questions, etc. Advantages of conducting electronic surveys are accessibility, ability for rapid distribution and response collection, anonymity of responders and quick data analysis. One challenge regarding the accuracy of electronic surveys is potential duplication. To avoid creating bias, a recipient should not be able to click the provided link more than once.
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