Document Detail

Using incentives in surveys of cancer patients: do "best practices" apply?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23076587     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
PURPOSE: Surveys of cancer patients are an important means of collecting data necessary to improve cancer prevention and control. However, health surveys generally are characterized by declining response rates, with incentives often employed to encourage participation. While successful, magnitude of effect is partially dependent upon situational characteristics of respondents, including health status. Given the health challenges experienced by cancer patients, it is unclear to what extent incentives can improve survey participation. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of monetary and non-monetary incentives in improving response to cancer patient surveys. METHODS: We reviewed the available experimental literature regarding efforts to improve response rates among cancer patients/survivors via incentives. Relevant studies were identified through searches of the MEDLINE, PubMed, and PsychINFO databases from 1975 to 2012. Seed sources (e.g., Cancer Causes & Control, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, and BMC Medical Research Methodology) were also referenced extensively in order to establish a comprehensive set of studies. RESULTS: Although limited, evidence does suggest that token incentives may be less effective for improving survey participation among cancer patients, relative to other population groups. These results are contrary to well-established evidence regarding the efficacy of incentives in improving survey participation generally. Potential reasons why incentives may be less effective in this population are explored. CONCLUSIONS: While more research is necessary, results suggest that survey research strategies targeting cancer patients be purposively designed in a manner that gives consideration to the distress associated with the condition, including selection of alternative strategies to improve response.
Jonathan B Vangeest; Timothy P Johnson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cancer causes & control : CCC     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1573-7225     ISO Abbreviation:  Cancer Causes Control     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9100846     Medline TA:  Cancer Causes Control     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
College of Public Health, Kent State University, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH, 44242-0001, USA,
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