ARP's Role in Physician Surveys
In keeping with its mission, the Applied Research Program tracks the use of screening
modalities, therapies, new technologies, and other factors that may influence the cancer
burden nationally. Many of these therapies and technologies are available to patients and
the public only through contact with a health care provider. Because research findings and
new technologies may have minimal impact if they are not adopted into widespread use by
practicing physicians, periodic assessment of physician practice with respect to new as
well as established cancer control technologies is critically important. Thus, Applied
Research Program activities include selected studies of physicians and health care
The first surveys focused on primary care physicians' practices related to screening
for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung
cancer. Subsequent surveys have focused on physicians' care related
to energy balance and physicians' attitudes about care
for cancer survivors.
Data collection for two studies, the Physician Survey on Cancer
Susceptibility Testing and the Survey of Colorectal Cancer
Screening Practices in Health Care Organizations, was recently completed under
contracts with Abt Associates, Inc.
The NCI-led National
Survey of Primary Care Physicians' Recommendations and Practice for Breast, Cervical,
Colorectal, & Lung Cancer Screening (the Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality and Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention are co-sponsors) was fielded between September 2006 and May
2007. It obtained current, national data on primary care physicians' (PCPs') knowledge,
attitudes, recommendations, and practices related to screening for breast, cervical,
colorectal, and lung cancer.
Human Subjects Protection
The study protocols underwent scientific review at NCI, and were approved by the
Institutional Review Boards of both the NCI and Abt Associates, Inc. The studies were
approved by the U.S. Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) in August, 1999.
Name, address and telephone number will be collected and retained only throughout the
study period because they are necessary for maintaining contact with the respondent. The
respondent's social security number will not be collected. Records will be identified and
retrieved for analysis using a study identification number only, so that personal
identities will be masked. No linkage with other data nor follow-up will be conducted
after the questionnaire is completed. Confidentiality of the identity of respondents will
be maintained. All completed hard copy instruments and other data forms will be stored in
locked files at Abt Associates Inc. The use of a password will be required for access to
all data files. All computer data will be maintained in a manner consistent with the
Department of Health and Human Services ADP Systems Security Policy as described in DHHS
ADP Systems Manual, Chapters 6-30 and 6-35. All Abt staff working on the studies will be
trained to strictly maintain the confidentiality of all data. Access to data will be
limited to staff working on the studies. All respondents will be assured of
confidentiality in writing in the advance letters.
Provider Survey Methods Workshop
In November 2010, ARP sponsored a Provider Survey Methods Workshop to review
and discuss current methodologies in designing and fielding large-scale surveys
of physicians and medical group practices. The workshop included a review of
methods used in fielding and reporting on large-scale provider surveys over the
decade 2000-2010; an Appendix of the 117 surveys
included in the review is available here. The research agenda discussed
during the workshop has been published:
Klabunde CN, Willis GB, McLeod CC, Dillman DA, Johnson TP, Greene SM, Brown ML.
Improving the quality of surveys of physicians and medical groups: a research agenda.
Eval Health Prof 2012 Dec;35(4):477-506.