Application and evaluation of a mailed questionnaire for an epidemiologic study of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection in horses

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15 Scopus citations


The objective of this study is to describe the design, application and validity of a self-administered (mailed) questionnaire to collect data on potential risk factors for Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection in California horses. Horses admitted to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) between 1 July 1992 and 30 June 1994 served as the study base for case identification and simple random sampling of 800 control horses. A questionnaire was mailed to owners of the study horses, followed by a reminder postcard and a second copy of a questionnaire. Data were collected on owner and horse identity and demographics, horse management and use, geographic location, and general health-related issues. Return pattern over time as well as differential return proportions were described. The overall return proportion was 66% (587/890), and the completion proportion 55% (491/890). The number of returns over time followed a negative binomial distribution, with over 90% of all returns being in by the end of the fifth week after mailing, and over 99% at the end of the tenth week. Some categories within the variables age (between 2 and 3 years), breed (Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses) and gender (stallions) had significantly lower return proportions than expected (differential return; p<0.05). The profile of these horses fits a section of the racehorse population that is served by the VMTH. Age, breed and disease status information was available from the VMTH medical records and from the questionnaire, and was used to determine the validity of the survey data. There was good agreement between the data from the two sources, and we therefore concluded that the quality of the survey information was sufficient to perform a risk-factor analysis. The mailed survey provided a rapid and cost-effective method of collecting additional information to supplement existing medical records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-253
Number of pages13
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 30 1998


  • Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis
  • Horse
  • Hospital database
  • Mailed survey
  • Questionnaire
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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