The Doctor Panel was established in 1993. A random sample of approximately 1300 active doctors agreed to participate. In order to maintain the representatively with regard to age, the Panel has been supplemented with younger doctors four times so far, in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Longitudinal data from more than 20 years makes the Doctor Panel unique also in an international perspective.
Every other year a postal questionnaire is sent to the members of the panel. Some questions are repeated each time, other questions are about contemporary health political topics. The 12 rounds so far took place in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. A new round will be mailed in November 2016.
Confidentiality is important in all kinds of studies, therefore the identities of the members of the Doctor Panel are not known to LEFO. We only know them through their unique number, and the matching key for names and numbers rests with Statistics Norway. Hence the questionnaires are mailed from them, but returned directly to us.
Our aim is to make it possible for all our respondents to choose between conventional letters and electronic communication when they answer our questionnaires.
Good response rates
So far the response rates for the panel rounds have been acceptable, between 70 and 80 percent.