Development of an e-mail database of US intensive care physicians

Scott D. Halpern, Sophia A. Hussen, Thomas S. Metkus, Nicholas S. Ward, John M. Luce, J. Randall Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Although surveying critical care physicians regarding their behaviors and attitudes may usefully inform clinical, ethical, and policy questions, few resources exist for surveying intensivists electronically. We sought to develop an e-mail database for all intensivists associated with US training programs in critical care medicine (academic intensivists) and to determine the feasibility of using this database to survey intensivists. Materials and Methods: We obtained e-mail addresses for academic intensivists by consulting each training program's institutional Web site or contacting program directors directly. We sent presumed intensivists up to 3 e-mail invitations to participate in an initial survey. Results: We identified 2858 potential intensivists and obtained operative e-mail addresses for 2494 (87%). Only 31 (9%) of the remaining intensivists were members of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, suggesting that most of those without identified addresses were not intensivists. During the conduct of an initial survey, 161 physicians self-identified themselves as nonintensivists; of the remaining 2333 presumed intensivists, 1026 (44%) responded and 44 (2%) opted out. The response rate of 44% is based on the conservative assumptions that the remaining 1263 physicians were intensivists and saw the e-mail invitation. Conclusions: This database provides a unique resource for investigators wishing to efficiently identify the views and practice patterns of US academic intensivists and provides a benchmark response rate of approximately 44% for electronic surveys of intensivists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical care
  • Data collection
  • Electronic mail
  • Health care surveys
  • Hospitals
  • Intensive care units
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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