Shaking hands in a busy waiting room: The effects of the surveyor’s introduction and people present in the waiting room on the response rate

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Although waiting room surveys are frequently conducted, methodological studies on this topic are scarce. Behaviour of surveyors in waiting rooms can easily be controlled, and these surveys also allow for collection of paradata; relevant information on the circumstances of a request to participate in survey research. In this paper, we present the results of an experiment systematically manipulating surveyor’s handshakes and verbal introduction of their names. Patients scheduled for radiological examinations were approached to take part in a survey. An observer noted circumstances in the waiting room (CT or MRI) such as the number of people present.
In the CT waiting room, willingness to participate was higher when no other people were filling out the survey than when there were other people filling out the survey. Thus, scarcity effects seemed to play a major role in the decision to participate. In addition, a patient waiting alone was more likely to fully complete the questionnaire, than patients accompanied by one or more caregivers. There was no effect of the surveyor’s handshake or verbal name introduction on survey participation, which is a fortunate outcome in light of social distances measures fighting COVID-19.
Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftSurvey Methods: Insights from the Field
StatusPublished - 17-mei-2021

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