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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Microfinance in emergency medicine research or how much research can you get for 500 Dkr?

Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine200917 (Suppl 2) :O2

  • Published:


  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency Care
  • Monetary Incentive
  • Hospital Department


Research is essential for improving emergency care but it is often difficult to obtain funding. Microfinance (small grants for minor projects) could be a method of initiating research in overlooked areas [1] but may be difficult to carry out [2].

We describe how a microgrant (500, -Danish Kroner (Dkr)) facilitated a research project in emergency medicine.


A grant of 500 Dkr was provided by the Danish Society for Emergency Medicine towards a research project on acute admissions.

Hospital departments in Denmark with acute admissions (internal medicine) were contacted. The doctor on call was asked to fill out a questionnaire on the internet. Costs of distribution, collection and registration of questionnaires were virtually zero.

The grant was used to buy a gift certificate that doctors completing the questionnaire could win. Monetary incentives combined with mail and telephone is known to increase response rates of questionnaires [3].


Responserate was 94.4%. The study has so far resulted in three manuscripts accepted for publication and one abstract.

  • Doctors on interhospital transfers. Training and level of experience. Abstract at EuSEM 2009

  • Supervision og arbejdsfordeling ved modtagelse, og videre behandling, af akutte medicinske patienter*

  • Level of training and experience in physicians performing interhospital transfers of adult internal medicine patients.**

  • Visitation og triage af akut indlagte medicinske patienter.*

* Ugeskrift for Laeger, ** Emergency Medicine Journal


The microgrant was vital for the conduction of the study. The study has resulted in three articles and an abstract. Microfinance can be used to initiate research.

Authors’ Affiliations

The Danish Society for Emergency Medicine, Esbjerg, Denmark


  1. MacDonald N, Kabakyenga J: Microresearch: borrowing from the microfinance experience [editorial]. CMAJ. 2008, 179: 399-PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Tang G: Microresearch: great idea but tough to execute. CMAJ. 2008, 179: 931-932.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Beebe TJ, Davern ME, McAlpine DD, Call KT, Rockwood TH: Increasing response rates in a survey of Medicaid enrollees: the effect of a prepaid monetary incentive and mixed modes (mail and telephone). Med Care. 2005, 43 (4): 411-4. 10.1097/01.mlr.0000156858.81146.0e.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Hallas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.