Ethnicity and neighbourhood deprivation determines the response rate in sexual dysfunction surveys.
Malavige LS., Wijesekara P., Epa DS., Ranasinghe P., Levy JC.
BACKGROUND: Self-administered questionnaires provide a better alternative to disclose sensitive information in sexual health research. We describe the factors that determine the positive response (initial recruitment) to an initial invitation and subsequent completion of study to a postal questionnaire on sexual dysfunction. METHODS: South Asians (SA) and Europids with and without diabetes (DM) were recruited from GP clinics in UK. Men who returned the properly filled consent form ('recruited-group') were sent the questionnaire and those who returned it were considered as the 'completed-group'. Index of Multiple Deprivation Scores (IMDs) were generated using UK postcodes. We calculated the recruitment rate and completion rate of the recruited and the study-completed groups respectively. RESULTS: Total approached sample was 9100 [DM: 2914 (32%), SA: 4563 (50.1%)]. Recruitment rate was 8.8% and was higher in Europids and in patients with DM. Mean IMDs for the recruited group was 20.9 ± 11.9, and it was higher among recruited SA compared to Europids (p < 0.001). Mean IMDs was higher in the recruited group compared to non-recruited (p < 0.01). All four recruited groups (SA/Europid and DM/non-DM) had lower IMDs compared to non-recruited. Completion rate was 71.5% (n 544) (SA: 62.3%, Europids: 77.4%; p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Recruitment for postal sexual health surveys is positively influenced by presence of investigated disease, older age, being from lesser deprived areas and Europid ethnicity. Furthermore, Europids were more likely to complete survey than South Asians irrespective of disease status.