Impact of baseline assessment modality on enrollment and retention in a Facebook smoking cessation study

Andrea C. Villanti, Megan A. Jacobs, Grace Zawistowski, Jody Brookover, Cassandra A. Stanton, Amanda L. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Few studies have addressed enrollment and retention methods in online smoking cessation interventions. Fully automated Web-based trials can yield large numbers of participants rapidly but suffer from high rates of attrition. Personal contact with participants can increase recruitment of smokers into cessation trials and improve participant retention. Objective: To compare the impact of Web-based (WEB) and phone (PH) baseline assessments on enrollment and retention metrics in the context of a Facebook smoking cessation study. Methods: Participants were recruited via Facebook and Google ads which were randomly displayed to adult smokers in the United States over 27 days from August to September 2013. On each platform, two identical ads were randomly displayed to users who fit the advertising parameters. Clicking on one of the ads resulted in randomization to WEB, and clicking on the other ad resulted in randomization to PH. Following online eligibility screening and informed consent, participants in the WEB arm completed the baseline survey online whereas PH participants completed the baseline survey by phone with a research assistant. All participants were contacted at 30 days to complete a follow-up survey that assessed use of the cessation intervention and smoking outcomes. Participants were paid $15 for follow-up survey completion. Results: A total of 4445 people clicked on the WEB ad and 4001 clicked on the PH ad: 12.04% (n=535) of WEB participants and 8.30% (n=332) of PH participants accepted the online study invitation (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere179
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Adult
  • Internet
  • Research subject recruitment
  • Smoking cessation
  • Social networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of baseline assessment modality on enrollment and retention in a Facebook smoking cessation study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this