Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Randomized trial showed requesting medical records with a survey produced a more representative sample than requesting separately.

Partin MR, Burgess DJ, Halek K, Grill J, Vernon SW, Fisher DA, Griffin JM, Murdoch M. Randomized trial showed requesting medical records with a survey produced a more representative sample than requesting separately. Journal of clinical epidemiology. 2008 Oct 1; 61(10):1028-35.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to compare the effect of two approaches to requesting medical records on survey response rates, sample representativeness, and the quality of self-reported screening. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Eight hundred ninety veterans aged 50-75 years from the Minneapolis VA Medical Center were randomly assigned to (1) records request included with a colorectal cancer screening survey ("with-survey" group) or (2) request in a separate mailing following a completed survey ("after-survey" group). Analyses compared response rates, the proportion and characteristics of patients providing records, and the validity of self-reported screening, by group. RESULTS: Response rates did not vary by group (with-survey 76%; after-survey 78%, P = 0.45). 54% of with-survey and 47% of after-survey participants provided complete medical records (P = 0.06). In the with-survey group, patients with complete medical records were significantly more likely to be married and to have a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder; in the after-survey group, they were more likely to be aged 65-75 years, Caucasian, to have a family history of colorectal cancer, and to report being screened. Validity of self-reported screening did not vary significantly by group. CONCLUSION: The with-survey approach did not significantly reduce response rates or the quality of self-reported screening and produced a higher number and more representative sample with complete records.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.