Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 4929432, 9 pages
Research Article

General Practitioners’ Participation in a Large, Multicountry Combined General Practitioner-Patient Survey: Recruitment Procedures and Participation Rate

1Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), P.O. Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, Netherlands
2Department of Sociology and Department of Human Geography, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, Netherlands
3Hochschule Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Leipziger Straße 123, 36037 Fulda, Germany

Received 3 December 2015; Accepted 14 February 2016

Academic Editor: Hakan Yaman

Copyright © 2016 Peter P. Groenewegen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The participation of general practitioners (GPs) is essential in research on the performance of primary care. This paper describes the implementation of a large, multicountry study in primary care that combines a survey among GPs and a linked survey among patients that visited their practice (the QUALICOPC study). The aim is to describe the recruitment procedure and explore differences between countries in the participation rate of the GPs. Methods. Descriptive analyses were used to document recruitment procedures and to assess hypotheses potentially explaining variation in participation rates between countries. Results. The survey was implemented in 31 European countries. GPs were mainly selected through random sampling. The actual implementation of the study differed between countries. The median participation rate was 30%. Both material (such as the payment system of GPs in a country) and immaterial influences (such as estimated survey pressure) are related to differences between countries. Conclusion. This study shows that the participation of GPs may indeed be influenced by the context of the country. The implementation of complex data collection is difficult to realize in a completely uniform way. Procedures have to be tuned to the context of the country.