The effect of reminders in a web-based intervention study
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Knowledge on effective strategies to encourage participation in epidemiological web-based research is scant. We studied the effects of reminders on overall participation. 3,876 employees were e-mailed a baseline web-based lifestyle questionnaire. Nine months later, a follow-up questionnaire was sent. To encourage study participation, 4–5 and 11 e-mail reminders were sent at baseline and follow-up, respectively. Additional reminders (media articles, flyers, SMS etc) were also administered. Reminders (e-mails + additional) were given in low (≤6 reminders), medium (7–9 reminders) or high amounts (>9 reminders). Participation was examined with respect to participant characteristics (i.e. age, sex, Body Mass Index, occupation), type/number of reminders, and time of participation. Most participants were males, 35–49 years, and field workers (non-office based). About 29 % responded before any e-mail reminder, following 26 and 45 % after 1 respective ≥ 2 e-mail reminders. Participant characteristics were not related to when the participants responded. The 4–5 e-mail reminders increased total response rate by 15 %, the eleven by 21 % (greatest increases in September). Those receiving medium amounts of reminders (reference) had the highest response rate (75 %), likewise office workers (54 %) compared to field workers (33 %). High amounts of reminders were particularly effective on office workers. The participants’ characteristics were not related to when they responded in this web-based study. Frequent reminders were effective on response rates, especially for those with high Internet availability. The highest increases in response rates were found in September.
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- The effect of reminders in a web-based intervention study
European Journal of Epidemiology
Volume 27, Issue 5 , pp 333-340
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- Springer Netherlands
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- Author Affiliations
- 1. Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, T2, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 171 76, Stockholm, Sweden
- 2. National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark