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European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 28, Issue 11, pp 931–934 | Cite as

Handwritten versus scanned signature on the invitation letter: does it make any difference in participation in a population-based study?

  • Marcela Fu
  • Jose M. Martínez-Sánchez
  • Xisca Sureda
  • Cristina Martínez
  • Montse Ballbè
  • Lucía Baranda
  • Anna Riccobene
  • Esteve FernándezEmail author
Letter to the Editor

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...

Keywords

Participation Rate Dispatch Postal Questionnaire Invitation Letter Scan Signature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcela Fu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jose M. Martínez-Sánchez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Xisca Sureda
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Cristina Martínez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Montse Ballbè
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Lucía Baranda
    • 2
  • Anna Riccobene
    • 1
    • 2
  • Esteve Fernández
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Tobacco Control Unit, Cancer Control and Prevention ProgrammeInstitut Català d’Oncologia, ICOL’Hospitalet de LlobregatSpain
  2. 2.Cancer Control and Prevention GroupInstitut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge, IDIBELLBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Sciences, School of MedicineUniversitat de Barcelona-Campus BellvitgeBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Biostatistics Unit, Department of Basic SciencesUniversitat Internacional de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Alcohol Unit, Institute of NeurosciencesHospital Clínic de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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