Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Epidemiol. 2007 Aug;60(8):757-65. Epub 2007 May 10.

Systematic review identifies number of strategies important for retaining study participants.

Author information

  • 1Division of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. krobin@jhmi.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Loss to follow-up threatens internal and external validity yet little research has examined ways to limit participant attrition. We conducted a systematic review of studies with a primary focus on strategies to retain participants in health care research.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTINGS:

We completed searches of PubMed, CINAHL, CENTRAL, Cochrane Methodology Register, and EMBASE (August 2005). We also examined reference lists of eligible articles and relevant reviews. A data-driven thematic analysis of the retention strategies identified common themes.

RESULTS:

We retrieved 3,068 citations, 21 studies were eligible for inclusion. We abstracted 368 strategies and from these identified 12 themes. The studies reported a median of 17 strategies across a median of six themes. The most commonly reported strategies were systematic methods of participant contact and scheduling. Studies with retention rates lower than the mean rate (86%) reported fewer strategies. There was no difference in the number of different themes used.

CONCLUSION:

Available evidence suggests that investigators should consider using a number of retention strategies across several themes to maximize the retention of participants. Further research, including explicit evaluation of the effectiveness of different strategies, is needed.

PMID:
17606170
PMCID:
PMC1997303
DOI:
10.1016/j.jclinepi.2006.11.023
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center