Paid Medical Surveys for Patients: What You Need to Know

medical surveys patients

In this post, we’ll explain all about paid medical surveys for patients, which is an important way for medical companies and healthcare providers to gather feedback and research data. We’ll look at what it entails for survey takers to share their thoughts on sensitive medical topics, how much it pays, and what you should watch out for.

What are paid medical surveys for patients?

Paid medical surveys for patients are online surveys that ask you questions about your diagnosis, symptoms, medication, treatment, lifestyle, and satisfaction with your healthcare provider. These surveys are conducted by market research companies that work with healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers to gather feedback from patients like you.

By participating in these surveys, you can help them to understand your needs, preferences, and challenges better, and to develop new products and services that can improve your health and well-being.

Pros and cons

In this post we’ll be looking at some of the key pros and cons of taking surveys for patients and caregivers:

  • Contribute to research
  • Get your voice heard
  • Earn survey incentives
  • Empowering
  • Time-consuming
  • Hard to quality
  • Sharing of sensitive data
  • Uncomfortable topics

While there are a lot of positive aspects to taking medical surveys for ordinary people, not everyone will feel comfortable sharing their views and experiences on medical topics. What’s great about online surveys is that you’re totally flexible and there’s no commitment – if you don’t feel comfortable with a specific survey-topic, you can just skip it.

Patient surveys vs. clinical trials

Unlike clinical trials, which are designed to test the safety and effectiveness of a new drug or device before it is approved by the regulatory authorities, paid medical surveys for patients do not require you to take any medication or undergo any procedure.

clinical trial process pasients
Don’t mistake patient surveys for clinical trials – regular online patient surveys don’t involve testing any actual medical drugs or treatments.

You just need to answer the questions honestly and accurately, based on your own experience. You also do not need to follow any specific protocol or schedule. You can take the surveys at your own convenience, from the comfort of your home or anywhere else with an internet connection.

Paid medical surveys for patients vs. patient satisfaction surveys

Another type of survey that you might encounter as a patient is a patient satisfaction survey. This is a survey that asks you about your overall satisfaction with the quality of care and service that you received from your hospital or clinic.

patient satisfaction survey
A study by West Corporation showed that 86% of participants were willing to fill out a healthcare survey if prompted by their doctor (1). 

These surveys are conducted by the hospital or clinic itself, or by a third-party organization that they hired, to measure their performance and identify areas for improvement. By taking these surveys, you can help them to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and to make changes that can enhance your experience and outcomes. Patient satisfaction surveys are different from paid medical surveys for patients in several ways:

  • Patient satisfaction surveys are usually short and simple
  • They might only ask you a few questions about your overall satisfaction
  • Patient satisfaction surveys are usually voluntary and unpaid,
  • Patient satisfaction surveys are usually anonymous and confidential

Paid medical surveys for patients on the other hand, usually offer you an incentive and often require you to provide some personal information such as your name, email address, phone number, etc., in order to receive your payment.

Patient surveys vs. physician surveys

Paid medical surveys for patients are also different from other types of online surveys that you might find on the internet. For example, many medical survey sites are aimed at physicians rather than patients. These survey sites ask physicians about their opinions and practices regarding various medical topics and products.

These survey sites are usually more selective and exclusive than paid medical surveys for patients. They might require physicians to provide proof of their credentials and specialities before they can join and take the surveys.

Another difference is that paid medical surveys for patients cover a wide range of topics and conditions that are relevant to patients. You might find surveys that ask you about your satisfaction with your healthcare provider, communication with your doctor or nurse, access to care, treatment effectiveness, quality of facilities, patient safety, information sharing, patient education, pain management, etc.

You might also find surveys that ask you about medical conditions that you are not diagnosed with. Here is an example of the Global Alzheimer’s disease study, conducted among more than 10,000 survey takers worldwide:

Alzheimer medical survey for patients
Example of survey results on the topic of Alzheimer’s disease (2).

Common medical topics found in online surveys include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Alzheimer’s

How can I take patient surveys?

Healthcare companies are interested in surveying patients about a wide range of common diagnoses and medical conditions to better understand patient experiences and improve the quality of care.

Big consumer panels from online survey providers such as Dynata, Toluna, Ipsos and Kantar all try to profile their users when it comes to their medical ailments. In this way, they can target survey takers with very specific medical conditions.

Here is an example of a Kantar Health survey (LifePoints Panel) targeting caregivers and patients suffering from epilepsy:

epilepsy patient survey
SK Life Science, Inc. and Kantar Health Epilepsy Patients Survey (3).

Examples of general consumer sites offering paid surveys on medical topics:

Note that these survey sites are general consumer panels, which issue surveys on all kinds of topics, not only patient-related surveys. These general survey sites usually ask for your explicit opt-in before sending you surveys on sensitive topics, such as your medical conditions.

Here are some examples of specialized healthcare sites for both physicians & patients:

A niche survey site specifically for patients often (but not always) provides a higher incentive than a regular consumer survey panel. Check our healthcare panel reviews for more details on each survey site.

Examples of patient survey subjects:

  • Satisfaction with the overall experience, including the appointment process, the waiting time, the facilities and the staff.
  • Satisfaction with the specific service or treatment received, such as the diagnosis, the medication, the surgery or the follow-up care.
  • Perceived outcomes and benefits of the service or treatment, such as the improvement in symptoms, the recovery time, the side effects or the complications.
  • Expectations and preferences for future services or treatments, such as the frequency, the duration, the location or the mode of delivery.

How much can I earn from paid medical surveys for patients?

By taking part in these surveys, patients can earn rewards such as cash, gift cards, or vouchers. The amount of money that patients can earn depends on several factors, such as the length and complexity of the survey, the availability of the survey, and the eligibility criteria of the patient.

Generally, online medical surveys pay between $1 and $50 per survey, but some may offer more or less depending on the specific survey provider and topic. Patients should always read the terms and conditions of each survey before participating and be aware of any potential risks or scams.

Making a contribution to research

Intrinsic motivation is the drive to do something because it is personally rewarding or meaningful, rather than for external rewards or pressures. When taking medical surveys, intrinsic motivation can help survey takers to provide honest and accurate responses, as well as to stay engaged and complete the surveys.

For example, if you suffer from or are close to someone with diabetes, you may be motivated to take medical surveys because you want to contribute to research that could improve your health and well-being, as well as the health and well-being of others who share your condition. By taking medical surveys, you are not only helping yourself but also advancing scientific knowledge and benefiting society.

What are the risks of taking patient surveys?

If you are interested in taking paid medical surveys for patients, there are some things that you should keep in mind before you sign up. You should always read the terms and conditions of the survey site carefully before you join, and try to get a good overview of:

  • How they will use and share your survey answers
  • How they will pay you
  • How they will protect your privacy
  • How you can opt out

By using survey review sites such as HuginX you can also get an objective opinion of others before signing up. HuginX only employs reviewers with extensive experience in the market research industry, and we always do rigorous checks of patient panels and only recommend signing up for sites that we know are 100% legit.

Adverse effects reporting in patient surveys

One of the considerations when conducting patient surveys is the possibility of patients reporting negative effects related to their medication or treatment. These negative effects are usually referred to as “adverse effects”, which survey sites have an obligation to monitor and report on.

Here are some best practices that survey companies should follow when conducting patient surveys:

  • Inform respondents about potential sensitive questions.
  • Obtain explicit consent from respondents before they begin the survey.
  • Monitor respondents’ responses during and after the survey.
  • Provide respondents with debriefing and follow-up after the survey.
  • Report and document any incidents of adverse effects.

The adverse event reporting system is not meant to replace your regular communication with your healthcare provider. If you experience any adverse effects or side effects from your medication or treatment, you should always report them to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

While market research companies are obliged to handle your reports of adverse effects in a proper manner, such as informing the relevant authorities or manufacturers, they cannot provide you with any medical advice or assistance.

Also, note that regulations concerning adverse effect monitoring and reporting in patient surveys can be very different from country to country, and this is just a general introduction to the topic.

As an example, in the US, the organisation conducting research is responsible for informing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of any Adverse Effects related to their medical products or devices as soon as possible, but no later than seven calendar days after being notified. As a consequence of this, survey sites need to follow a lot of different regulations when operating in different countries.


  1. Fierce Healthcare, ‘Industry Voices – 6 types of healthcare surveys that can improve patient experiences
  2. Global Alzheimer survey conducted by Novartis and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI), in association with Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)
  3. SK Life Science, Inc. and Kantar Health. “Seize the Truth about Epilepsy Perceptions (STEP) Survey.” February 7, 2019 to March 27, 2019.

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