Handwritten versus scanned signature on the invitation letter: does it make any difference in participation in a population-based study?
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Research based on surveys requires considering some strategies aimed at increasing participation and minimizing potential bias attributable to nonresponse. Some methods have been used in the cover letter accompanying postal questionnaires, including the use of a personalized salutation, a personal approach, a postscript, a colored signature, different number of signatures of the principal investigators, or handwritten versus scanned/printed signatures of the principal investigator [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. We are unaware of studies using these strategies on the invitation letter to promote participation in face-to-face surveys. Thus, we aimed to ascertain if there are differences in participation rates in a population-based face-to-face survey when the invitation letters include handwritten or scanned signatures.
To achieve this objective, we used data from a cross-sectional study conducted in 2011–2012 in the general population of Barcelona, Spain, whose objective was to assess changes...
KeywordsParticipation Rate Dispatch Postal Questionnaire Invitation Letter Scan Signature
The authors would like to thank Montse Ferré for coordinating the fieldwork. This work was partly supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III [PI081436, RD06/0020/0089, and RD12/0036/0053] and the Department of Universities and Research, Government of Catalonia [grant 2009SGR192].
Conflict of interests
The Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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