The term completion rate has been used often in the survey research literature to describe the extent of cooperation with and participation in a survey. However, it is an ambiguous term because it is not used consistently. Therefore readers of the literature should interpret the term with caution.

Completion rate is often used to describe the portion of a questionnaire that has been completed. In self-administered surveys, it is used widely to differentiate between the number of eligible individuals who do not complete a questionnaire and those who do. In this context, the completion rate is the number of questionnaires completed divided by all eligible and initially cooperating sample members. Researchers using completion rate in this sense should state so explicitly. This rate is an important ...

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