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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Valenti F., Gobbi C., Scaramellini N., Baratelli G. M.
Accademia di Senologia di Gravedona, Gravedona, Como, Italia
AIM: The use of electronic mail and of online questionnaire is an innovative, simple and inexpensive way to perform even a scientific investigation. It is possible to collect many responses in a short time, providing a rapid achievement of a good statistical significance. The information is also controlled, neutral and equal for all, eliminating the bias of subjective explanation of the questions by a doctor, nurse or secretary, and the woman can evaluate the information received with calm and at their own pace. The disadvantages are: lack of response, errors in the understanding of the text of the email and incompleteness in filling out the questionnaire.
METHODS: We designed and conducted a survey on a scientific breast problem, using only internet as a communication channel. The survey sought to know from a sample group of healthy women which would have been the preferred choice between a conventional and an innovative treatment. In the paper we report the results of this pilot experience, based on the analysis of 1481 questionnaires sent by email. The text of the email and of the questionnaire was corrected by a psychologist.
RESULTS: The overall compliance, evaluated as the number of completed questionnaires received on the number of invited women, was 6%.
CONCLUSION: The poor compliance is due to three main factors: non-use or not familiar with the internet, lack of motivation to participate in the investigation, the difficulties of understanding the text of the questionnaire. Further considerations to improve similar investigations are stated.