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SMS text pre-notification and delivery of reminder e-mails to increase response rates to postal questionnaires in the SUSPEND trial: a factorial design, randomised controlled trial.

Starr K, McPherson G, Forrest M, Cotton SC - Trials (2015)

Bottom Line: There was no difference in response rate in those who received an e-mail reminder compared with those who received a postal reminder.SMS text pre-notification of questionnaire delivery and email delivery of questionnaire reminders did not improve response rates.E-mail reminders for participants to return their postal questionnaire could be advantageous given that response rates were similar following either type of reminder and the low cost of delivering an e-mail compared with a postal reminder.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Healthcare Randomised Trials, Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Health Sciences Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, Scotland. k.starr@abdn.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Patient-reported outcomes are vital in informing randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and health-care interventions and policies from the patient's perspective. However, participant non-response may introduce bias and can affect the generalisability of the trial. This study evaluates two interventions aimed at increasing response rates to postal questionnaires within a large, UK-wide RCT: pre-notification via short messenger service (SMS) text prior to sending the initial mailing of trial questionnaires versus no pre-notification; for non-responders to the initial mailing of the questionnaires, an e-mail reminder (containing a hyperlink to complete the questionnaire online) versus a postal reminder.

Methods: This study is a 2 × 2 partial factorial design RCT nested within an RCT of medical expulsive therapy for ureteric stone disease. Participants who supplied a mobile telephone number were randomly assigned to receive an SMS text pre-notification of questionnaire delivery or no pre-notification. Those who supplied an e-mail address were randomly assigned to receive a questionnaire reminder by e-mail or post. Participants could be randomly assigned to the pre-notification comparison or the reminder comparison or both. The primary outcome measure was response rate at each questionnaire time point.

Results: Four hundred eighteen participants were randomly assigned to the SMS pre-notification comparison (80% were male, and the mean age was 41 years with a standard deviation (SD) of 11.1). The intervention had no effect on response rate at either questionnaire time point. In subgroup analyses, SMS pre-notification increased response rates in women but only at the first questionnaire time point. One hundred nineteen participants were randomly assigned to the reminder comparison (80% were male, and the mean age was 42 years with an SD of 12.1). There was no difference in response rate in those who received an e-mail reminder compared with those who received a postal reminder.

Conclusions: SMS text pre-notification of questionnaire delivery and email delivery of questionnaire reminders did not improve response rates. There was some evidence to suggest that SMS text pre-notification may be effective in women, and further studies to investigate this may be warranted. E-mail reminders for participants to return their postal questionnaire could be advantageous given that response rates were similar following either type of reminder and the low cost of delivering an e-mail compared with a postal reminder. This is a substudy of the SUSPEND trial (ISCTRN69423238) (18 Nov. 2010).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) diagram: pre-notification comparison. ITT = Intention-to-treat
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Fig1: CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) diagram: pre-notification comparison. ITT = Intention-to-treat

Mentions: The flow of participants through the SUSRes study is shown in Figs. 1 and 2 according to the recommendations of the CONSORT statement [12]. In total, 710 participants who entered the SUSPEND RCT were assessed for eligibility to enter the SUSRes study. Of those, 418 (59 %) were eligible to be randomly assigned for the pre-notification comparison and 119 (17 %) were eligible to be randomly assigned to the reminder comparison. Within the pre-notification comparison, 80 % were male and the mean age was 41 years (standard deviation (SD) of 11.1). Within the reminder comparison, 80 % were male and the mean age was 42 years (SD of 12.1). Within each comparison, the randomised groups were well balanced (Table 1) and there were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control groups.Fig. 1


SMS text pre-notification and delivery of reminder e-mails to increase response rates to postal questionnaires in the SUSPEND trial: a factorial design, randomised controlled trial.

Starr K, McPherson G, Forrest M, Cotton SC - Trials (2015)

CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) diagram: pre-notification comparison. ITT = Intention-to-treat
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494692&req=5

Fig1: CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) diagram: pre-notification comparison. ITT = Intention-to-treat
Mentions: The flow of participants through the SUSRes study is shown in Figs. 1 and 2 according to the recommendations of the CONSORT statement [12]. In total, 710 participants who entered the SUSPEND RCT were assessed for eligibility to enter the SUSRes study. Of those, 418 (59 %) were eligible to be randomly assigned for the pre-notification comparison and 119 (17 %) were eligible to be randomly assigned to the reminder comparison. Within the pre-notification comparison, 80 % were male and the mean age was 41 years (standard deviation (SD) of 11.1). Within the reminder comparison, 80 % were male and the mean age was 42 years (SD of 12.1). Within each comparison, the randomised groups were well balanced (Table 1) and there were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control groups.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: There was no difference in response rate in those who received an e-mail reminder compared with those who received a postal reminder.SMS text pre-notification of questionnaire delivery and email delivery of questionnaire reminders did not improve response rates.E-mail reminders for participants to return their postal questionnaire could be advantageous given that response rates were similar following either type of reminder and the low cost of delivering an e-mail compared with a postal reminder.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Healthcare Randomised Trials, Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Health Sciences Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, Scotland. k.starr@abdn.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Patient-reported outcomes are vital in informing randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and health-care interventions and policies from the patient's perspective. However, participant non-response may introduce bias and can affect the generalisability of the trial. This study evaluates two interventions aimed at increasing response rates to postal questionnaires within a large, UK-wide RCT: pre-notification via short messenger service (SMS) text prior to sending the initial mailing of trial questionnaires versus no pre-notification; for non-responders to the initial mailing of the questionnaires, an e-mail reminder (containing a hyperlink to complete the questionnaire online) versus a postal reminder.

Methods: This study is a 2 × 2 partial factorial design RCT nested within an RCT of medical expulsive therapy for ureteric stone disease. Participants who supplied a mobile telephone number were randomly assigned to receive an SMS text pre-notification of questionnaire delivery or no pre-notification. Those who supplied an e-mail address were randomly assigned to receive a questionnaire reminder by e-mail or post. Participants could be randomly assigned to the pre-notification comparison or the reminder comparison or both. The primary outcome measure was response rate at each questionnaire time point.

Results: Four hundred eighteen participants were randomly assigned to the SMS pre-notification comparison (80% were male, and the mean age was 41 years with a standard deviation (SD) of 11.1). The intervention had no effect on response rate at either questionnaire time point. In subgroup analyses, SMS pre-notification increased response rates in women but only at the first questionnaire time point. One hundred nineteen participants were randomly assigned to the reminder comparison (80% were male, and the mean age was 42 years with an SD of 12.1). There was no difference in response rate in those who received an e-mail reminder compared with those who received a postal reminder.

Conclusions: SMS text pre-notification of questionnaire delivery and email delivery of questionnaire reminders did not improve response rates. There was some evidence to suggest that SMS text pre-notification may be effective in women, and further studies to investigate this may be warranted. E-mail reminders for participants to return their postal questionnaire could be advantageous given that response rates were similar following either type of reminder and the low cost of delivering an e-mail compared with a postal reminder. This is a substudy of the SUSPEND trial (ISCTRN69423238) (18 Nov. 2010).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus