OBJECTIVES: The dramatic growth of the World Wide Web (Web) holds potential for use in survey distribution and submission. Its use has not previously been studied in the context of patient satisfaction with endoscopy procedures. In this study we compared standard mail, telephone, and Web-based modes of endoscopy satisfaction survey administration with respect to response rate and response content. METHODS: An endoscopy satisfaction questionnaire consisting of seven core items from the modified Group Health Association of America (GHAA-9) was distributed to patients after routine outpatient endoscopy. Patients were randomized to receive the questionnaire by standard mail, telephone, or Web (if applicable). Response rates and satisfaction scores in the groups were compared. The nonresponders to the standard mail and Web surveys were subsequently contacted by telephone to determine their level of satisfaction. RESULTS: Response rates to the telephone survey (81% among those designated as non-Web users and 78% among Web users) and standard mail (75% non-Web users, 67% Web users) were higher than response rate to the Web-based survey (34%) (p ≤ 5 0.0005). There was no significant difference in satisfaction scores among the groups or between satisfaction of nonresponders and responders. CONCLUSIONS: The potential of our Web-based survey was limited by poor response rates. This arose from privacy protection precautions that complicated access to the Web site. Future Web-based strategies for surveying patients will need to be more user-friendly while maintaining the intent of the recent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations.
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