Objective: To enhance proxy survey responses for deceased cancer patients.
Data sources: Two waves of surveys about care experiences of cancer chemotherapy patients (used for a value-based purchasing initiative), collected November 2016 through March 2017.
Study design: Surveys were mailed to deceased patients (for proxy response) in the untailored first survey wave, and using a tailored strategy in the second wave. We compared proxy responses for deceased patients with and without the tailored approach.
Principal findings: A tailored survey approach improved the proxy response rate from 17.6 percent to 39.0 percent.
Conclusions: Simple tailoring strategies can significantly enhance proxy response rates when surveying patients in a high mortality population. However, we were unable to address the impact of higher proxy response rates on response bias since we surveyed different patients in each wave.
Keywords: Tailored patient survey; cancer care experience; deceased patients; proxy response rate.
© Health Research and Educational Trust.