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Mil Med. 2019 Mar 1;184(Suppl 1):521-528. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usy374.

Evaluation of Three Postal Invitational Strategies to Increase Survey Response Rates in a Combat-Injured U.S. Military Population: Findings From the Wounded Warrior Recovery Project.

Author information

1
Axiom, 140 Sylvester Rd., San Diego, CA.
2
Leidos, 140 Sylvester Rd., San Diego, CA.
3
Naval Health Research Center, Department of Medical Modeling, Simulation, and Mission Support, 140 Sylvester Rd., San Diego, CA.

Abstract

The survival rate of those injured in combat in overseas contingency operations is higher than in previous conflicts. There is a need to assess the long-term psychosocial and quality of life outcomes of those injured in combat, yet surveying this population presents inherent challenges. As part of a large-scale, longitudinal examination of patient-reported outcomes of service members injured on deployment, the present manuscript evaluated the effectiveness of three postal strategies on response rates: (1) mailing a study prenotification postcard, (2) mailing the survey invitation in a larger envelope, and (3) including a small cash preincentive ($2). Evaluation of these strategies yielded mixed results in this population. Neither the prenotification postcard nor inclusion of a $2 cash preincentive significantly increased response rates. However, use of a larger envelope to mail the survey invitation significantly increased the response rate by 53.1%. Researchers interested in collecting patient-reported outcomes among military populations, including those with combat-related injuries, may find that increasing the visibility of recruitment materials is more effective for improving response rates than attempting to cognitively prime or offer prospective participants preincentives.

KEYWORDS:

incentive; prenotification; recruitment; response rate; survey

PMID:
30901447
DOI:
10.1093/milmed/usy374
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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