An online questionnaire was developed to quantify our main qualitative findings from Phase 1. We used an email database of the national professional network of PHPs in the Netherlands to reach respondents for the questionnaire. The database includes the vast majority of PHPs working in infectious disease control in the Netherlands, which allowed us to efficiently reach out to our target population. Between May and June 2019, 260 PHPs from all 25 PHS in the Netherlands were invited via email to complete the online questionnaire. Questionnaires were accessible to respondents for 4 weeks, during which we sent three reminders.

Statements were formulated regarding the qualitatively identified advantages and challenges of RDD for CT, and regarding the intention to use RDD for CT (See Additional file 3). Questionnaire respondents could respond to the statements on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from strongly agree (1) to strongly disagree (5).

The questionnaire contained four sections. First, respondents were shown a webpage containing information and objectives of the study. Second, respondents were shown a short video explaining RDD. The video showed the same PowerPoint presentation (based on Fig. Fig.1),1), and we used the same script (Additional file 1) for explaining RDD as in Phase 1. Third, respondents sequentially worked through the hypothetical scenarios, in each of which they responded to the developed statements. In each respective scenario, respondents were additionally asked if they would use RDD for CT if it were available at their PHS. Fourth, at the end of the questionnaire, we asked for respondents’ general intention (outside the context of the hypothetical scenarios) to use RDD for CT.

The online questionnaire was distributed through the survey software Formdesk (https://en.formdesk.com) and took 25–30 min to complete.

Descriptive analyses were conducted for respondents’ characteristics, for their responses to the statements (in each scenario), and for their intention to use RDD for CT (in each scenario and in general). Percentages were reported for all categorical variables. Distributions of continuous variables were checked using histograms, and medians and inter-quartile ranges (M;IQR) were reported (see Additional file 3).

For reporting purposes, we grouped respondents who reported to agree and respondents who reported to very much agree to the statements (on a case-by-case basis). For each statement, the combined percentage of agreeing respondents was reported. To check if the general intention to use RDD for CT was associated with respondents’ characteristics, we first created a dichotomous intention variable. Respondents who very much agreed and agreed were grouped, as were respondents who were neutral, disagreed, or very much disagreed. We then checked associations using Chi-square tests. Fisher’s exact test was used when assumptions for the Chi-square test were violated (i.e. less than 80% of categories having an expected count of five or over). All analyses were conducted in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) v.24.

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