To conduct a survey among a representative sample of primary care physicians in the U.S. to assess practice behaviors, treatment goals, and beliefs related to management of diabetes mellitus and prevention of its complications.


A mail survey with telephone follow-up was conducted among 3481 primary care physicians in active practice in the continental U.S. A stratified probability sample was selected using the files of the American Medical Association and American Osteopathic Association. Four specialties were selected to be included in the study: family physician, general practitioner, internist, and pediatrician. Two versions of a questionnaire were constructed: one for pediatricians containing questions about IDDM only and one for the other three specialties containing questions about both IDDM and NIDDM. Physicians who were not actively engaged in practice or did not see patients with diabetes were excluded.


Completed questionnaires were received from 1502 of 3481 sampled physicians. Based on various assumptions of eligibility among nonresponders, an overall response rate to the survey was estimated to be between 65.7 and 86.5%. Discrepancies between specialty identifications as noted on the American Medical Association/American Osteopathic Association files and as self-designated were noted.


This report describes the methodology used in the design and conduct of the survey, and data are provided to document the technical success of survey execution. This report provides the methodological basis for a series of separate reports on demographic characteristics of the physicians, their practices and their patients, and on specific attitudes, beliefs, and practice behaviors of primary care physicians in the U.S. with regard to diabetes mellitus.

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