Cost-effectiveness of recruitment methods in a population-based epidemiological study: the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project

Livingston, Patricia M., Guest, Charles S., Bateman, Angela, Woodcock, Norman and Taylor, Hugh R. 1994, Cost-effectiveness of recruitment methods in a population-based epidemiological study: the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 314-318, doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.1994.tb00251.x.

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Title Cost-effectiveness of recruitment methods in a population-based epidemiological study: the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project
Author(s) Livingston, Patricia M.ORCID iD for Livingston, Patricia M.
Guest, Charles S.
Bateman, Angela
Woodcock, Norman
Taylor, Hugh R.
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of public health
Volume number 18
Issue number 3
Start page 314
End page 318
Total pages 5
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 1994-09
ISSN 1035-7319
Keyword(s) Adult
Aged, 80 and over
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Feasibility Studies
Interviews as Topic
Middle Aged
Patient Selection
Pilot Projects
Vision Disorders
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Summary The cost-effectiveness of five recruitment methods was evaluated to determine the best method of encouraging eligible persons to participate in the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project (a population-based epidemiological study). The evaluation was divided into two phases. Phase 1 included one of two types of initial contact, by direct personal contact or by telephone. Phase 2 involved recruiting residents after an attempt had been made by either the telephone or the doorstep approach, and included a second attempt by a field interviewer, subsequent attempts by senior field staff, and finally, financial incentives. The cost-effectiveness of each method was determined by dividing the approach's cost by the effectiveness ratio. We identified 269 eligible households with 356 eligible residents. An 89 per cent response rate was achieved at the examination centre, comprising 61 per cent from Phase 1 and 28 per cent from Phase 2. Although both recruitment methods in Phase 1 were equally cost-effective, there was a significant difference in the effectiveness of each method in actually recruiting residents. The doorstep method was more costly per attender but was far more effective at 76 per cent recruitment than the telephone method at 47 per cent (P < 0.001). We have demonstrated a practical two-stage approach (the doorstep method in Phase 1 and follow-up strategies in Phase 2) to population-based recruitment involving the middle to elderly age group that should be relevant to many epidemiological studies.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1753-6405.1994.tb00251.x
Field of Research 111399 Ophthalmology and Optometry not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©1994, Public Health Association of Australia
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