Table 1

 Organisations sampled, sampling strategies, response rates, and inclusion rates

Organisation TypeSampling approachPartial sets of documents receivedComplete sets of documents receivedNumber reviewed
*Physician professional associations that require adherence to the Code of Medical Ethics or Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association (AMA), but which have no other ethics policies, were not eligible for inclusion.
Physician professional associationsAll 70 societies with independent ethics policies,* including the AMA9 (13%)57 (84%)18
Physician group practices59 groups, selected at random from Medical Group Management Association Directory10 (17%)19 (32%)9
Health plans75 plans, selected at random from American Association of Health Plans Directory11 (15%)12 (16%)12