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Recruiting Women for a Study on Perceived Risk of Cancer: Influence of Survey Topic Salience and Early Versus Late Response
  • Published Date:
    May 09 2013
  • Source:
    Prev Chronic Dis. 10.
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-279.86 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Understanding the characteristics of early and late survey responders has implications for recruitment efforts and for informing potential response bias. The main objective of this analysis was to examine survey responder status (ie, early vs late response) by sociodemographic characteristics and by salience of study variables among respondents.


    We analyzed data from a survey on family cancer history and perceived cancer risk among women at a large managed health-care organization. For baseline and 12-month follow-up surveys, we defined early versus late responder status according to the 95th percentile of the number of days it took to obtain completed interviews.


    We found no significant associations between responder status and sociodemographic characteristics at baseline or follow-up. At baseline, early responders were significantly more likely than late responders to have a personal history of breast cancer (5.2% vs 3.4%, P = .04) and to have been referred for genetic counseling (4.6% vs 2.0%, P = .004). The association between personal history of breast cancer and responder status persisted at follow-up; only 3.5% of late responders at baseline were also late responders at follow-up. Follow-up survey nonresponse rates did not vary by baseline responder status.


    Survey topic salience is associated with early response and is important for recruitment. However, once recruited, late responders do not remain late responders at follow-up, suggesting that extra efforts made to recruit late responders are worthwhile. Health-related agencies that conduct surveys should consider survey salience in survey administration and recruitment strategies.

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