A randomized trial of incentives to improve response rates to a mailed women's health questionnaire

Maura K. Whiteman, Patricia Langenberg, Kristen Kjerulff, Robert McCarter, Jodi Anne Flaws

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Mailed questionnaires can be a convenient method for collecting data on women's health, although poor response rates are a concern. Methods: As part of a survey of women's health conducted in Maryland in 2001, a randomized trial was performed to assess the effects of two incentives ($1.00 or a lottery ticket) as well as precontact with an introductory postcard on response rates. Questionnaires were mailed to 3000 women aged 40-60 who were randomized to one of six incentive/precontact groups: lottery/postcard, money/postcard, postcard only, lottery only, money only, or no incentive/no postcard. Results: The overall response rate was 37.6%. Each incentive/precontact group yielded a higher response rate than the no incentive/no postcard group, although only the response rates for the lottery/postcard group (41.3%) and the money only group (40.0%) were significantly higher than that of the no incentive/no postcard group (33.1%). Money was the only factor that had a significant independent effect on likelihood of response (hazards ratio [HR] compared to no incentive = 1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03, 1.43). Response rates were lower in minority ZIP codes, although the effects of the incentives were generally greater than in the nonminority ZIP codes. Conclusions: These results indicate that response rates to mailed women's health questionnaires may be improved with modest incentives, particularly cash incentives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-828
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Women's Health
Motivation
Surveys and Questionnaires
Postcards
Confidence Intervals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Whiteman, M. K., Langenberg, P., Kjerulff, K., McCarter, R., & Flaws, J. A. (2003). A randomized trial of incentives to improve response rates to a mailed women's health questionnaire. Journal of Women's Health, 12(8), 821-828.

A randomized trial of incentives to improve response rates to a mailed women's health questionnaire. / Whiteman, Maura K.; Langenberg, Patricia; Kjerulff, Kristen; McCarter, Robert; Flaws, Jodi Anne.

In: Journal of Women's Health, Vol. 12, No. 8, 10.2003, p. 821-828.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Whiteman, MK, Langenberg, P, Kjerulff, K, McCarter, R & Flaws, JA 2003, 'A randomized trial of incentives to improve response rates to a mailed women's health questionnaire', Journal of Women's Health, vol. 12, no. 8, pp. 821-828.
Whiteman MK, Langenberg P, Kjerulff K, McCarter R, Flaws JA. A randomized trial of incentives to improve response rates to a mailed women's health questionnaire. Journal of Women's Health. 2003 Oct;12(8):821-828.
Whiteman, Maura K. ; Langenberg, Patricia ; Kjerulff, Kristen ; McCarter, Robert ; Flaws, Jodi Anne. / A randomized trial of incentives to improve response rates to a mailed women's health questionnaire. In: Journal of Women's Health. 2003 ; Vol. 12, No. 8. pp. 821-828.
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