Repeated attempts using different strategies are important for timely contact with study participants

Kuan Fu Chen, Elizabeth Colantuoni, Faisal Siddiqi, Victor D. Dinglas, Kristin A. Sepulveda, Eddy Fan, Peter J. Pronovost, Dale M. Needham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To study the effect of different mail- and phone-based strategies, along with patient- and research-related factors, on the time to contact with research participants. Study Design and Setting: A prospective evaluation of a 12-week standardized protocol (embedded with two randomized trials of mail- and phone-based strategies) for contacting existing research participants for recruitment into a related study. Results: Of 146 participants, 87 were eligible for contact via the standardized protocol, and 63 (72%) of these were successfully contacted within 12 weeks after multiple mail- and phone-based efforts. Using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, the different mail and phone strategies showed no significant difference in the time to contact with participants. Of 34 patient- and research-related factors evaluated, only two were independently associated with time to contact among all 146 participants: (1) participants having their last visit conducted outside of the research clinic because of patient illness/condition had a longer time to contact and (2) those with a self-reported chronic fatigue history had a shorter time to contact. Conclusion: Few patient characteristics and research-related factors accurately predict time to contact. Repeated attempts using different strategies are important for successful and timely contact with study participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1144-1151
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Cohort studies
  • Patient participation
  • Patient selection
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Respiratory distress syndrome, adult
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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