An Illustration of a Methodology to Maximize Mail Survey Response Rates in a Provincial School-Based Physical Activity Needs Assessment

Two mail surveys were conducted as a province-wide needs assessment to examine the opportunities for, barriers to, and participation in physical activity in Ontario elementary and secondary schools. Dillman's Tailored Design Method (TDM) was used to maximize the quality of responses and the response rate. Both surveys entailed five mailings to key informants from randomly selected schools. The response rate among the 599 elementary and 600 secondary schools was 85% and 79%, respectively.