Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 163–172

Does Questionnaire Distribution Promote Blood Donation? An Investigation of Question–Behavior Effects


    • Unit Donor StudiesSanquin Research
    • Maastricht University
  • Charles Abraham
    • University of Exeter Medical SchoolUniversity of Exeter
  • Robert A. C. Ruiter
    • Maastricht University
  • Ingrid J. T. Veldhuizen
    • Unit Donor StudiesSanquin Research
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12160-012-9449-3

Cite this article as:
van Dongen, A., Abraham, C., Ruiter, R.A.C. et al. ann. behav. med. (2013) 45: 163. doi:10.1007/s12160-012-9449-3



The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of survey administration as a population-level intervention to increase blood donation.


Study 1 was a randomized controlled trial of new donors comparing 3,518 who received a questionnaire and 3,490 who did not. Study 2 compared matched, randomly selected samples of active donors; 5,789 received a questionnaire, while 6,000 did not. In both studies, the dependent measure was the proportion of donors who attended a blood donation center to give blood within 6 months of survey posting. Study 3 compared data across five similar trials.


No difference in volunteering to give blood was observed between those who did and did not receive a questionnaire among either new or active donors, confirming the findings of two other Canadian trials.


Despite earlier optimistic findings, there is little evidence to suggest that survey administration per se will be effective in increasing blood supplies. Implications for behavior change mechanisms are discussed.


Question–behavior effectMere measurement effectNonresponse biasBlood donationBehavior change

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012