Just You Wait… and Fill Out This Survey: Methodological Aspects of Waiting Room Surveys

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Waiting room surveys are commonly conducted to study patients’ attitudes, behaviors and other characteristics, but guiding literature on waiting room surveys for practitioners is scarce and outdated (Pirotta et al. 2002). In this presentation we synthesize practical guidelines from prior studies and our own experiences. We compare waiting room surveys with similar approaches such as public intercept surveys and drop-off-pick-up surveys, and we discuss our experiences in a waiting room survey that was conducted at the Radiology department of the University Medical Center Groningen. Patients scheduled for a CT or MRI were approached by students working in pairs. One student unobtrusively filled out an observation sheet, noting the waiting room (CT or MRI), the date, time, gender of the approached person, the number of people present in the waiting room, and the number of caregivers accompanying the respondent. After the request to participate, both respondents and non-respondents were asked their year of birth. Out of 249 approached patients 208 (83.5%) were willing to fill out the questionnaire, and for 189 patients (75.9%) a complete questionnaire (with at least 75% of the questions answered) was available.
From our review, we conclude that waiting room surveys, though limited to patients and their care givers, can provide useful information on patients’ perspective on health care. Response rates in waiting rooms are usually high, but often not even reported. These surveys also allow for collection of para-data; i.e. relevant information in the circumstances of a request to participate in survey research, and behavior of surveyors can easily be controlled, or investigated in an experimental design.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13-May-2021
Event76th Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research - Online
Duration: 3-May-202114-May-2021
Conference number: 76


Conference76th Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research
Abbreviated titleAAPOR
Internet address

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