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Improving the Survey Experience to Boost Healthcare Panel Participation
Published Aug 10, 2021

The healthcare market research industry depends on professionals around the globe. Recently, Matt Walmsley and Philip Moyer presented findings based on a SurveyHealthcareGlobus (SHG) study that asked panelists about their survey taking preferences and experiences. The goal was to determine how researchers can improve overall panel participation, satisfaction, and engagement.


The trends that were recognized in this survey are organized into five common mistakes that are made in panel management—inadequate or delayed compensation, utilizing inefficient or outdated screening practices, poor communication, transactional relationships, and sub-optimal survey designs.

Respondents were asked to rank their primary motivations for participation, and 59% identified their motivation as receiving compensation or other incentives. Later they were asked how researchers can make them feel appreciated, where 57% reported the most important aspect of their participation is that they are receiving adequate compensation. Respondents main concern is that their time as professionals is being valued. This connects to receiving appropriate compensation, a faster screen-out process, and research topics that are specific to their field.

Inefficient or outdated screening practices can make it difficult for respondents to engage. This can be improved with a faster screening process, in addition to brief and concise survey questions that are directed to the target audience. To improve the screening process, it is optimal to stay around 2-3 screening questions, when possible. Most respondents felt that after 3-5 screening questions their time is being wasted.

Poor communication and transactional relationships can be deal-breakers for panelists when deciding whether they would like to continue working with a given firm. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported that any compensation delays or difficulties would lead them to no longer continue working with a firm. While 21% reported that long and complex surveys would also lead to the same outcome.

Sub-optimal survey design is a mistake that can be improved in multiple areas. Seventy-seven percent of respondents reported that they preferred multiple choice questions to grid- or matrix-style questions. Additionally, it was found that most of the respondents feel that five answer choices are appropriate for multiple choice questions. Other improvements include designing a survey that is compatible across devices and incorporating auto-fill questions that could limit repetition throughout the survey.

The goal of this research was to gather data that would improve survey experience for the future. Overall, it was identified that professionals across the industry want to feel like their time and knowledge are being valued and appreciated. This allows researchers to continuously make improvements that will provide the highest quality of data and feedback from healthcare professionals.

For more information on this topic, get the full report. Download 5 Common Mistakes in Panel Management.

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