Access to Results of Patient Reported Outcome Surveys Does Not Improve Survey Response Rates

J Surg Res. 2023 Mar:283:945-952. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.10.080. Epub 2022 Dec 8.


Introduction: In this embedded substudy of a longitudinal, randomized controlled trial, we sought to evaluate the effects of patient engagement and results feedback on longitudinal patient-reported outcome (PRO) survey completion rates.

Methods: Newly diagnosed stage 0-III breast cancer patients seen at an academic breast center between June 2019 and December 2021 were invited to participate in a longitudinal PRO study. Participants were emailed the BREAST-Q survey, a validated PRO scale, preoperatively and at regular intervals during their postoperative course. Patients were randomized into the intervention group, who received survey results upon completion, or the control group, who received no feedback. The primary endpoint was postoperative survey completion rate. An intention to treat analysis was performed and a quasi-Poisson regression was used to compare rates of longitudinal survey completion between the two groups.

Results: Of the 253 patients offered the preoperative survey, 115 were in the intervention group and 138 were in the control group. Postoperative survey completion rate was 54% for the intervention group and 47% for the control group. There was no significant difference in longitudinal postoperative survey completion rate between the two groups (rate ratio 1.10; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.93-1.31).

Conclusions: In this prospective randomized controlled study, patients did not complete surveys at a higher rate when their survey results were shared with them, suggesting that viewing these results without appropriate clinical context does not generate significant enhancement in patient engagement. Effective interventions to improve survey response rate must be identified to better evaluate PROs.

Keywords: Patient engagement; Patient-centered care; Patient-reported outcomes; Survey response rate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Research Design*