Retention strategies in longitudinal cohort studies: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Teague, Samantha, Youssef, George J., Macdonald, Jacqui A., Sciberras, Emma, Shatte, Adrian, Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Matthew, Greenwood, Chris, McIntosh, Jennifer, Olsson, Craig A., Hutchinson, Delyse and SEED Lifecourse Sciences Theme 2018, Retention strategies in longitudinal cohort studies: a systematic review and meta-analysis, BMC medical research methodology, vol. 18, pp. 1-22, doi: 10.1186/s12874-018-0586-7.

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Title Retention strategies in longitudinal cohort studies: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Author(s) Teague, SamanthaORCID iD for Teague, Samantha
Youssef, George J.ORCID iD for Youssef, George J.
Macdonald, Jacqui A.ORCID iD for Macdonald, Jacqui A.
Sciberras, EmmaORCID iD for Sciberras, Emma
Shatte, AdrianORCID iD for Shatte, Adrian
Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, MatthewORCID iD for Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Matthew
Greenwood, Chris
McIntosh, JenniferORCID iD for McIntosh, Jennifer
Olsson, Craig A.ORCID iD for Olsson, Craig A.
Hutchinson, DelyseORCID iD for Hutchinson, Delyse
SEED Lifecourse Sciences Theme
Journal name BMC medical research methodology
Volume number 18
Article ID 151
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Publisher BMC
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-11-26
ISSN 1471-2288
Keyword(s) Attrition
SEED Lifecourse Sciences Theme
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Care Sciences & Services
Summary BACKGROUND: Participant retention strategies that minimise attrition in longitudinal cohort studies have evolved considerably in recent years. This study aimed to assess, via systematic review and meta-analysis, the effectiveness of both traditional strategies and contemporary innovations for retention adopted by longitudinal cohort studies in the past decade. METHODS: Health research databases were searched for retention strategies used within longitudinal cohort studies published in the 10-years prior, with 143 eligible longitudinal cohort studies identified (141 articles; sample size range: 30 to 61,895). Details on retention strategies and rates, research designs, and participant demographics were extracted. Meta-analyses of retained proportions were performed to examine the association between cohort retention rate and individual and thematically grouped retention strategies. RESULTS: Results identified 95 retention strategies, broadly classed as either: barrier-reduction, community-building, follow-up/reminder, or tracing strategies. Forty-four of these strategies had not been identified in previous reviews. Meta-regressions indicated that studies using barrier-reduction strategies retained 10% more of their sample (95%CI [0.13 to 1.08]; p = .01); however, studies using follow-up/reminder strategies lost an additional 10% of their sample (95%CI [- 1.19 to - 0.21]; p = .02). The overall number of strategies employed was not associated with retention. CONCLUSIONS: Employing a larger number of retention strategies may not be associated with improved retention in longitudinal cohort studies, contrary to earlier narrative reviews. Results suggest that strategies that aim to reduce participant burden (e.g., flexibility in data collection methods) might be most effective in maximising cohort retention.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12874-018-0586-7
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, The Author(s)
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Document type: Journal Article
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School of Psychology
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