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Improving survey response rates from parents in school-based research using a multi-level approach

Schilpzand, Elizabeth J., Sciberras, Emma, Efron, Daryl, Anderson, Vicki and Nicholson, Jan M. 2015, Improving survey response rates from parents in school-based research using a multi-level approach, PLoS one, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126950.

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Title Improving survey response rates from parents in school-based research using a multi-level approach
Author(s) Schilpzand, Elizabeth J.
Sciberras, Emma
Efron, Daryl
Anderson, Vicki
Nicholson, Jan M.
Journal name PLoS one
Volume number 10
Issue number 5
Article ID e0126950
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher PLoS
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1932-6203
Keyword(s) Child
Community-Based Participatory Research
Faculty
Female
Humans
Longitudinal Studies
Male
Parents
Schools
Surveys and Questionnaires
Summary BACKGROUND: While schools can provide a comprehensive sampling frame for community-based studies of children and their families, recruitment is challenging. Multi-level approaches which engage multiple school stakeholders have been recommended but few studies have documented their effects. This paper compares the impact of a standard versus enhanced engagement approach on multiple indicators of recruitment: parent response rates, response times, reminders required and sample characteristics.

METHODS: Parents and teachers were distributed a brief screening questionnaire as a first step for recruitment to a longitudinal study, with two cohorts recruited in consecutive years (cohort 1 2011, cohort 2 2012). For cohort 2, additional engagement strategies included the use of pre-notification postcards, improved study materials, and recruitment progress graphs provided to school staff. Chi-square and t-tests were used to examine cohort differences.

RESULTS: Compared to cohort 1, a higher proportion of cohort 2 parents responded to the survey (76% versus 69%; p < 0.001), consented to participate (71% versus 56%; p < 0.001), agreed to teacher participation (90% versus 82%; p < 0.001) and agreed to follow-up contact (91% versus 80%; p < 0.001). Fewer cohort 2 parents required reminders (52% versus 63%; p < 0.001), and cohort 2 parents responded more promptly than cohort 1 parents (mean difference: 19.4 days, 95% CI: 18.0 to 20.9, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: These results illustrate the value of investing in a relatively simple multi-level strategy to maximise parent response rates, and potentially reduce recruitment time and costs.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0126950
Field of Research 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
111403 Paediatrics
MD Multidisciplinary
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079143

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.