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Effect of survey instrument on participation in a follow-up study: a randomization study of a mailed questionnaire versus a computer-assisted telephone interview.

Authors
Rocheleau-CM; Romitti-PA; Sherlock-SH; Sanderson-WT; Bell-EM; Druschel-C
Source
BMC Public Health 2012 Jul; 12:579
NIOSHTIC No.
20041814
Abstract
Background: Many epidemiological and public health surveys report increasing difficulty obtaining high participation rates. We conducted a pilot follow-up study to determine whether a mailed or telephone survey would better facilitate data collection in a subset of respondents to an earlier telephone survey conducted as part of the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Methods: We randomly assigned 392 eligible mothers to receive a self-administered, mailed questionnaire (MQ) or a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) using similar recruitment protocols. If mothers gave permission to contact the fathers, fathers were recruited to complete the same instrument (MQ or CATI) as mothers Results: Mothers contacted for the MQ, within all demographic strata examined, were more likely to participate than those contacted for the CATI (86.6% vs. 70.6%). The median response time for mothers completing the MQ was 17 days, compared to 29 days for mothers completing the CATI. Mothers completing the MQ also required fewer reminder calls or letters to finish participation versus those assigned to the CATI (median 3 versus 6), though they were less likely to give permission to contact the father (75.0% vs. 85.8%). Fathers contacted for the MQ, however, had higher participation compared to fathers contacted for the CATI (85.2% vs. 54.5%). Fathers recruited to the MQ also had a shorter response time (median 17 days) and required fewer reminder calls and letters (median 3 reminders) than those completing the CATI (medians 28 days and 6 reminders) Conclusions: We concluded that offering a MQ substantially improved participation rates and reduced recruitment effort compared to a CATI in this study. While a CATI has the advantage of being able to clarify answers to complex questions or eligibility requirements, our experience suggests that a MQ might be a good survey option for some studies.
Keywords
Epidemiology; Public-health; Pregnancy; Questionnaires; Statistical-analysis
Contact
Carissa M Rocheleau, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 52242
CODEN
BPHMAJ
Publication Date
20120731
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
crocheleau@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
B20121218D
ISSN
1471-2458
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Priority Area
Manufacturing
Source Name
BMC Public Health
State
IA; OH; NY
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