How long is too long to keep a physician on an online survey?

In the world of market research, it is critical to collect valid and meaningful data. When healthcare professionals are completing online surveys for quantitative research, there are ways the data can be compromised.

Enter lengthy online surveys: the last thing market researchers want is for respondents to become fatigued by too many queries.

So, how long is too long for an online survey?

10–15 minutes

During the summer of 2019, respondents in a study with 4,635 participants reported that the ideal length of time for an online survey is between 10 and 15 minutes1

20 minutes maximum

Very similar results were shown in a different study from 2016, where participants reported an ideal median survey length of 10 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes2

What do you think of this?

If you have been conducting market research with online questionnaires, have you exceeded this time?

So, what can you do?

Don’t compromise your data by having your survey overstay its welcome!

  • Focus your questions on exactly what you want to uncover – excess questions mean participants are less likely to pay attention to each additional question as the survey progresses3
  • Ask concise questions that omit intricate verbiage that might confuse or bore the respondent4


  1. Revilla M, Höhne JK. How long do respondents think online surveys should be? New evidence from two online panels in Germany. International Journal of Market Research. 2020;62(5):538-545. doi:10.1177/1470785320943049.
  2. Revilla M, Ochoa C. Ideal and Maximum Length for a Web Survey. International Journal of Market Research. 2017;59(5):557-565. doi:10.2501/IJMR-2017-039.
  3. Dynata. Survey Length Best Practices: Are Shorter Surveys Better? Available at:
  4. Snowden A. When Results Lie: Tips for Overcoming Questionnaire Bias. Available at: