A telephone survey of factors affecting willingness to participate in health research surveys

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Glass, DC, Kelsall, HL, Slegers, C, Forbes, AB, Loff, B, Zion, Deborah ORCID: 0000-0003-4790-0033 and Fritschi, L (2015) A telephone survey of factors affecting willingness to participate in health research surveys. BMC Public Health, 15 (1). ISSN 1471-2458


Background: In recent years, reduced participation has been encountered across all epidemiological study designs, both in terms of non-response as well as refusal. A low response rate may reduce the statistical power but, more importantly, results may not be generalizable to the wider community. Methods: In a telephone survey of 1413 randomly selected members of the Australian general population and of 690 participants sourced from previous studies, we examined factors affecting people's stated willingness to participate in health research. Results: The majority of participants (61 %) expressed willingness to participate in health research in general but the percentage increased when provided with more specific information about the research. People were more willing if they have personal experience of the disease under study, and if the study was funded by government or charity rather than pharmaceutical companies. Conclusion: Despite a trend toward reduced participation rates, most participants expressed their willingness to participate in health research. However, when seeking participants, researchers should be concrete and specific about the nature of the research they want to carry out. The preferred method of recommended contact varies with the demographic characteristics.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/32146
DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-2350-9
Official URL http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Current > Division/Research > VU College
Keywords Epidemiology; Population studies
Citations in Scopus 80 - View on Scopus
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