The influence of research compensation options on Practice-based Research Network (PBRN) physician participation: A North Texas (NorTex) PBRN study

Richard A. Young, Kimberly G. Fulda, Sumihiro Suzuki, Kristen A. Hahn, Anna M. Espinoza, James D. Marshall, Billy J. Moore, Roberto Cardarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the effect of two compensation approaches, continuing medical education (CME) credits (5 hours) or monetary ($150), on the participation rate of a physician needs assessment study. Methods: Physicians representing family medicine, internal medicine, pediatric, and geriatrics specialties, and practicing in ambulatory primary care clinics affiliated with the North Texas Primary Care (NorTex) PBRN clinics, were recruited to complete a survey relevant to their subspecialty and to conduct a self-audit/abstraction of five medical records. Physicians were recruited from four health care systems, and the recruiting methods varied by system. Study outcome was the rate of study completion by type of incentive. Results: One hundred five of 211 (49.8%) physicians approached to participate gave consent and 84 (39.8%) completed the study. There was no difference in the number of physicians randomly assigned to monetary compared with CME compensation for giving consent to participate (adjusted odds ratio = 1.42, confidence interval = 0.69, 2.93). However, physicians in the monetary compensation group were more likely to complete the study after giving consent (adjusted odds ratio = 4.70, confidence interval ∇ 1.25, 17.58). This monetary effect was also significant from the perspective of all physicians approached initially (adjusted odds ratio = 2.78, confidence interval = 1.16, 6.67). Discussion: This study suggests that future PBRN investigators should receive monetary compensation for the opportunity cost of adding research activities to their already busy practices. This compensation may be especially vital for PBRNs to complete more ambitious projects requiring a significant time commitment from the participating physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-568
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Physician behavior
  • Physician compensation
  • Practice-based research
  • Primary care
  • Research methods


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