response rate

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The proportion, percentage, or fraction of individuals who reply to inquiries that have been directed to all the individuals in a population, or a representative sample of them. The validity of findings or results and conclusions derived from them is dependent on the response rate. If the response rate is low, i.e., if there are large proportions of nonresponders, the validity of the results is dubious, even if impeccable sampling methods have been used, because of the magnitude of random error.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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