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Aust Fam Physician. 1993 May;22(5):790-1, 794-5.

Recruiting general practitioners for survey research.

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  • 1Department of General Practice, University of Sydney.


Recruitment is often a lengthy process and sometimes a frustrating one. It is not simply a matter of contacting those selected and asking for this participation. After obtaining a list from which to select a sample, a contact list must be created, initial contact must be made and direct contact initiated, often requiring great powers of persuasion. It is often difficult to convince someone that your project is important. However, the time and energy expended is ultimately worth it. Just one positive enthusiastic response is enough to make you forget all the difficulties. What could be done to make it simpler in the future? Some kind of list, regularly updated, of all general practitioners would make researchers' jobs much easier by providing a reliable and current sampling frame. It would also promote general practice as a specialty. The problem of a definition of general practice is currently being considered. Overall, there needs to be more recognition of the time practitioners put in to such surveys and the additional demands it places on their already busy lives. General practice research has to be designed to fit into the practitioner's schedule. Researchers should co-ordinate their projects so that repeated requests are not made to the same practitioner. To some extent this problem is being tackled in New South Wales at present by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and University researchers. There is also a need for feedback from participating practitioners as to their own thoughts about the direction and design of general practice research. This would help to encourage continued participation and create goodwill for future surveys.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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