Survey of how people view the medical
Internet and the impact of medical website usage on the patient/physician
The survey was conducted over the Internet in November/December, 2001 by Russell Marketing Research, Inc., an independent research firm based in New York. Russell Marketing Research contributed to the development of the questionnaire, and was responsible for the sampling and recruitment of respondents, dissemination of the study questions via the Internet, and the gathering and tabulation of data.
A total of 2000 randomly selected individuals were contacted and invited to participate in this survey by filling out a questionnaire on a website maintained by Russell Marketing Research. Respondents were members of Survey Sampling, Inc.'s (SSI) Survey Spot Online Panel. Under the administration of Russell Marketing Research, the recruitment was conducted in two phases:
Phase One: SSI recruited online users from over 1,000 online and offline methods, including website registrations, banner ads, mail-in postcards, and telephone. These people are included in what SSI calls their "e-LIT" population. This population currently has about 9 million Internet users.
Phase Two: SSI sent e-mails to the e-LIT population, recruiting them to join the Survey Spot panel. This panel currently represents 260,000 households and over 900,000 individuals. Various demographic and usage data was captured upon registration.
An incentive was offered for completion of the survey. All respondents were entered into a drawing where they could win one of several cash prizes totaling $10,000.
An absolute requirement for entry into the survey was use of the medical Internet. Of the two thousand (2,000) people contacted, 231 completed the questionnaire, a response rate of 11.5%.
Apart from standard demographic inquiries, two types of questions were used in this survey.
The first type was a closed-ended question in which the respondent was asked to indicate his/her level of agreement with a statement by selecting a rating from a 5-point agreement scale. The 5-point agreement scale used in this study was strongly agree, somewhat agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree somewhat, and strongly disagree.
The other type used was the open-ended question in which the respondent was given the opportunity to express in his/her own words his/her opinion in response to a given question.
Because of the small number of respondents, we have grouped together strongly agree and agree somewhat as "agree" and disagree somewhat and strongly disagree as "disagree" when presenting results. The tables, from which the results are derived, maintain the separate categories.
The margin of error for this survey was +/- 6.9% at the 95% confidence level.