Effects of Survey Mode on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey Scores

Layla Parast, Marc N. Elliott, Katrin Hambarsoomian, Joan Teno, Rebecca Anhang Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the effect of mode of survey administration on response rates and response tendencies for the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey and develop appropriate adjustments. Design: Survey response data were obtained after sampling and fielding of the CAHPS Hospice Survey in 2015. Sampled caregivers and decedents were randomized to one of three modes: mail only, telephone only, and mixed mode (mail with telephone follow-up). Linear regression analysis was used to examine the effect of mode on individual responses to questions (6 composite measures and 2 global measures that examine hospice quality). Setting: U.S. hospice programs (N = 57). Participants: Primary caregivers of individuals who died in hospice (N = 7,349). Measurements: Outcomes were 8 hospice quality measures (6 composite measures, 2 global measures). Analyses were adjusted for differences in case-mix (e.g., decedent age, payer for hospice care, primary diagnosis, length of final episode of hospice care, respondent age, respondent education, relationship of decedent to caregiver, survey language, and language spoken at home) between hospices. Results: Response rates were 42.6% for those randomized to mail only, 37.9%, for those randomized to telephone only, and 52.6% for those randomized to mixed mode (P <.001 for difference). There were significant mode effects (P <.05) for 10 of the 24 questions that compose the quality measures, with mail-only respondents being significantly more likely to report better experiences than telephone-only respondents. Conclusion: Unlike results observed in previous mode experiments for hospital CAHPS, hospice primary caregivers tend to respond more negatively by telephone than by mail. Valid comparisons of hospice performance require that reported hospice scores be adjusted for survey mode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-552
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • hospice
  • mail
  • patient experience
  • survey mode
  • telephone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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