Healthcare and patient satisfaction surveys – 5 factors to consider when selecting patient sample size

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When planning your healthcare survey or patient satisfaction survey you will want to consider these 5 factors for selecting your patient sample size. Reviewing these 5 important questions will guide you in determining the right sample method for your survey:

1. Diversity of Target Population

Is your group of patients in your healthcare satisfaction survey or patient survey diverse or similar? The larger the diversity, the larger the sample size should be.

2. Degree of Precision

How precise do you need your healthcare survey to be? If you are interest in percentage figures for your target population, do you want estimates based on the patient sample to be within 2% or within 5% of the true patient population figures. The higher the precision requirement the larger the sample size needs to be.

3. Sample Design & Method

The sample method you select dictates your sample size. A good example is a Stratified Random Sample requires a smaller sample size than a Simple Random Sample to reach the same level of precision.

4. Budget

What is your budget for this survey? Ultimately, financial considerations and availability of personnel to gather the data may define the sample size and method you choose.

5. Number of Break Variables for Analysis

If you have 1000 patients to be surveyed by gender (2 categories), age group (5 categories) and major (10 categories), we are reduced to 10 respondents on average for each combination of categories (2×5×10 = 100 combined categories). For a patient target population with wide variation in responses, 10 cases may not be a sufficient representation for the healthcare or patient satisfaction survey.

All of these factors come into consideration when planning your survey. Answering these important questions in the planning stage will ensure your gain the information you need from your medical research study.

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