Effect of telephone follow-up on retention and balance in an alcohol intervention trial

Johnson, Natalie A., Kypri, Kypros, Latter, Joanna, McElduff, Patrick, Attia, John, Saitz, Richard, Saunders, John B., Wolfenden, Luke, Dunlop, Adrian, Doran, Christopher and McCambridge, Jim (2015) Effect of telephone follow-up on retention and balance in an alcohol intervention trial. Preventive Medicine Reports, 2 746-749. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.08.016

Author Johnson, Natalie A.
Kypri, Kypros
Latter, Joanna
McElduff, Patrick
Attia, John
Saitz, Richard
Saunders, John B.
Wolfenden, Luke
Dunlop, Adrian
Doran, Christopher
McCambridge, Jim
Title Effect of telephone follow-up on retention and balance in an alcohol intervention trial
Journal name Preventive Medicine Reports   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2211-3355
Publication date 2015-09-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.08.016
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 2
Start page 746
End page 749
Total pages 4
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives. Telephone follow-up is not currently recommended as a strategy to improve retention in randomized trials. The aims of this study were to estimate the effect of telephone follow-up on retention, identify participant characteristics predictive of questionnaire completion during or after telephone follow-up, and estimate the effect of including participants who provided follow-up data during or after telephone follow-up on balance between randomly allocated groups in a trial estimating the effect of electronic alcohol screening and brief intervention on alcohol consumption in hospital outpatients with hazardous or harmful drinking.

Method. Trial participants were followed up 6 months after randomization (June–December 2013) using e-mails containing a hyperlink to a web-based questionnaire when possible and by post otherwise. Telephone follow-up was attempted after two written reminders and participants were invited to complete the questionnaire by telephone when contact was made.

Results. Retention before telephone follow-up was 62.1% (520/837) and 82.8% (693/837) afterward: an increase of 20.7% (173/837). Therefore, 55% (95% CI 49%–60%) of the 317 participants who had not responded after two written reminders responded during or after the follow-up telephone call. Age < 55 years, a higher AUDIT-C score and provision of a mobile/cell phone number were predictive of questionnaire completion during or after telephone follow-up. Balance between randomly allocated groups was present before and after inclusion of participants who completed the questionnaire during or after telephone follow-up.

Conclusion. Telephone follow-up improved retention in this randomized trial without affecting balance between the randomly allocated groups.
Keyword Telephone
Lost to follow-up
Randomized controlled trial
Alcohol consumption
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Publications
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