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International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 555–563 | Cite as

Response in individuals with and without foreign background and application to the National Cohort in Germany: which factors have an effect?

  • Volker WinklerEmail author
  • Michael Leitzmann
  • Nadia Obi
  • Wolfgang Ahrens
  • Thomas Edinger
  • Guido Giani
  • Jakob Linseisen
  • Markus Löffler
  • Karin Michels
  • Ute Nöthlings
  • Sabine Schipf
  • Alexander Kluttig
  • H.-Erich Wichmann
  • Barbara Hoffmann
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel
  • Heiko Becher
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

Response rates in epidemiologic studies vary widely. This study examines response rates of potential study participants according to foreign versus German background and investigates effects of recruitment strategies.

Methods

Response rates and characteristics of recruitment procedures from feasibility studies for a large cohort study conducted in 2011 were analyzed.

Results

Among 1,235 participants the proportion of recruited individuals with a foreign background was 17.3 % (95 % confidence interval 15.3–19.5 %), significantly lower than in the sampling frame (23.1 %). The difference between observed and expected proportion was high among individuals with Turkish background and smaller among ethnic Germans from the Former Soviet Union and other foreign background groups. Common recruitment strategies to increase the response had positive effects in all groups. For the planned recruitment strategy in the forthcoming German National Cohort, we estimate an overall response of approximately 50 %.

Conclusions

Individuals with Turkish background may need particular efforts to be adequately represented in a population-based cohort in Germany. Other foreign background groups are relatively well represented using standard procedures. An adequate response can be obtained under carefully planned recruitment strategies.

Keywords

Response Epidemiologic study Migrants Germany German National Cohort (NaKo) Recruitment strategy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Data were provided from the following study centers. The colleagues named here also contributed to the study: Augsburg (PD Dr. Christa Meisinger,), Bremen (Ramona Dembski), Düsseldorf (Dipl.-Dok. Susanne Stolpe), Freiburg (Julia Six-Merker), Halle (Prof. Dr. Andreas Stang), Hamburg (Prof. Dr. Dieter Flesch-Janys, Dipl.-Dok. Till Olchers), Kiel (Dr. Imke Gerjets), Leipzig (PD Dr. Kerstin Wirkner), Neubrandenburg (Prof. Dr. Henry Völzke, Dr. Carsten Oliver Schmidt), Regensburg (Dr. Beate Fischer) and Saarbrücken (Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner, Christa Stegmaier). We thank our colleagues for their support. The study was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), grant number 01ER1001B.

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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Volker Winkler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael Leitzmann
    • 2
  • Nadia Obi
    • 3
  • Wolfgang Ahrens
    • 4
  • Thomas Edinger
    • 5
  • Guido Giani
    • 6
  • Jakob Linseisen
    • 7
  • Markus Löffler
    • 8
  • Karin Michels
    • 9
  • Ute Nöthlings
    • 10
  • Sabine Schipf
    • 11
  • Alexander Kluttig
    • 12
  • H.-Erich Wichmann
    • 7
  • Barbara Hoffmann
    • 13
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel
    • 14
  • Heiko Becher
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Public HealthUniversitätsklinikum HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Epidemiologie Und PräventivmedizinUniversität RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  3. 3.Universitäres Cancer CenterUniversitätsklinikum Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Prevention Research and Social MedicineUniversität BremenBremenGermany
  5. 5.Saarländisches KrebsregisterSaarbrückenGermany
  6. 6.Institut für Biometrie Und EpidemiologieDDZ DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  7. 7.Institut für Epidemiologie Am Helmholtz Zentrum MünchenMunichGermany
  8. 8.Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and EpidemiologyUniversity LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  9. 9.Tumorzentrum Ludwig Heilmeyer, Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  10. 10.Institut für Ernährungs- Und LebensmittelwissenschaftenUniversity BonnBonnGermany
  11. 11.Institut für Community MedicineUniversitätsmedizin GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  12. 12.Institut für Medizinische Epidemiologie, Biometrie Und InformatikMartin-Luther-Universität Halle-WittenbergHalleGermany
  13. 13.Düsseldorf and Medical Faculty, IUF, Leibniz-Institut für Umweltmedizinische ForschungHeinrich Heine University of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  14. 14.Institut für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie Und EpidemiologieUniversitätsklinikum EssenEssenGermany

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