Personally counsel patients is defined as dentists or their dental teams who responded with a “1” (always) or “2” (usually).
Dental teams include dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants.
1495 general dentists returned the survey out of 4725 mailed the survey for a response rate of 31.6% (this is the unit response rate or overall specific to general dentists).
1036 general practice dentists responded to the questions about counseling. Of the full sample, the item response rate was 21.9% (1036/4725).
Among the 1495 general practice dentists who returned the survey, the item response rate was 69.3% (1036/1495).
A low response rate may yield a biased estimate from the survey if the responders and non-responders are inherently different.