Evaluation of the Total Design Method in a survey of Japanese dentists

Yukie Nakai, Peter Milgrom, Toshiko Yoshida, Chikako Ishihara, Tsutomu Shimono

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study assessed the application of the Total Design Method (TDM) in a mail survey of Japanese dentists. The TDM was chosen because survey response rates in Japan are unacceptably low and the TDM had previously been used in a general population survey. Methods: Four hundred and seventy eight dentist members of the Okayama Medical and Dental Practitioner's Association were surveyed. The nine-page, 27-item questionnaire covered dentist job satisfaction, physical practice, and dentist and patient characteristics. Respondents to the first mailing or the one-week follow-up postcard were defined as early responders; others who responded were late responders. Responder bias was assessed by examining age, gender and training. Results: The overall response rate was 46.7% (223/478). The response rates by follow-up mailing were, 18% after the first mailing, 35.4% after the follow-up postcard, 42.3% after the second mailing, and 46.7% after the third mailing. Respondents did not differ from non-respondents in age or gender, nor were there differences between early and late responders. Conclusion: The application of TDM in this survey of Japanese dentists produced lower rates of response than expected from previous Japanese and US studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 23 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics


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