Maximising retention in a longitudinal study of genital Chlamydia trachomatis among young women in Australia

Jennifer Walker, Christopher K. Fairley, Eve Urban, Marcus Y. Chen, Catriona Bradshaw, Sandra M. Walker, Basil Donovan, Sepehr N. Tabrizi, Kathleen McNamee, Marian Currie, Marie Pirotta, John Kaldor, Lyle C. Gurrin, Hudson Birden, Veerakathy Harindra, Francis J. Bowden, Jane M. Gunn, Jane S. Hocking

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Abstract

Background: Cohort studies are an important study design however they are difficult to implement, often suffer from poor retention, low participation and bias. The aims of this paper are to describe the methods used to recruit and retain young women in a longitudinal study and to explore factors associated with loss to follow up. Methods. The Chlamydia Incidence and Re-infection Rates Study (CIRIS) was a longitudinal study of Australian women aged 16 to 25 years recruited from primary health care clinics. They were followed up via the post at three-monthly intervals and required to return questionnaires and self collected vaginal swabs for chlamydia testing. The protocol was designed to maximise retention in the study and included using recruiting staff independent of the clinic staff, recruiting in private, regular communication with study staff, making the follow up as straightforward as possible and providing incentives and small gifts to engender good will. Results: The study recruited 66% of eligible women. Despite the nature of the study (sexual health) and the mobility of the women (35% moved address at least once), 79% of the women completed the final stage of the study after 12 months. Loss to follow up bias was associated with lower education level [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR): 0.7 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.5, 1.0)], recruitment from a sexual health centre as opposed to a general practice clinic [AHR: 1.6 (95% CI: 1.0, 2.7)] and previously testing positive for chlamydia [AHR: 0.8 (95% CI: 0.5, 1.0)]. No other factors such as age, numbers of sexual partners were associated with loss to follow up. Conclusions: The methods used were considered effective for recruiting and retaining women in the study. Further research is needed to improve participation from less well-educated women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this

Walker, Jennifer ; Fairley, Christopher K. ; Urban, Eve ; Chen, Marcus Y. ; Bradshaw, Catriona ; Walker, Sandra M. ; Donovan, Basil ; Tabrizi, Sepehr N. ; McNamee, Kathleen ; Currie, Marian ; Pirotta, Marie ; Kaldor, John ; Gurrin, Lyle C. ; Birden, Hudson ; Harindra, Veerakathy ; Bowden, Francis J. ; Gunn, Jane M. ; Hocking, Jane S. / Maximising retention in a longitudinal study of genital Chlamydia trachomatis among young women in Australia. In: BMC Public Health. 2011 ; Vol. 11.
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title = "Maximising retention in a longitudinal study of genital Chlamydia trachomatis among young women in Australia",
abstract = "Background: Cohort studies are an important study design however they are difficult to implement, often suffer from poor retention, low participation and bias. The aims of this paper are to describe the methods used to recruit and retain young women in a longitudinal study and to explore factors associated with loss to follow up. Methods. The Chlamydia Incidence and Re-infection Rates Study (CIRIS) was a longitudinal study of Australian women aged 16 to 25 years recruited from primary health care clinics. They were followed up via the post at three-monthly intervals and required to return questionnaires and self collected vaginal swabs for chlamydia testing. The protocol was designed to maximise retention in the study and included using recruiting staff independent of the clinic staff, recruiting in private, regular communication with study staff, making the follow up as straightforward as possible and providing incentives and small gifts to engender good will. Results: The study recruited 66{\%} of eligible women. Despite the nature of the study (sexual health) and the mobility of the women (35{\%} moved address at least once), 79{\%} of the women completed the final stage of the study after 12 months. Loss to follow up bias was associated with lower education level [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR): 0.7 (95{\%} Confidence Interval (CI): 0.5, 1.0)], recruitment from a sexual health centre as opposed to a general practice clinic [AHR: 1.6 (95{\%} CI: 1.0, 2.7)] and previously testing positive for chlamydia [AHR: 0.8 (95{\%} CI: 0.5, 1.0)]. No other factors such as age, numbers of sexual partners were associated with loss to follow up. Conclusions: The methods used were considered effective for recruiting and retaining women in the study. Further research is needed to improve participation from less well-educated women.",
author = "Jennifer Walker and Fairley, {Christopher K.} and Eve Urban and Chen, {Marcus Y.} and Catriona Bradshaw and Walker, {Sandra M.} and Basil Donovan and Tabrizi, {Sepehr N.} and Kathleen McNamee and Marian Currie and Marie Pirotta and John Kaldor and Gurrin, {Lyle C.} and Hudson Birden and Veerakathy Harindra and Bowden, {Francis J.} and Gunn, {Jane M.} and Hocking, {Jane S.}",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1186/1471-2458-11-156",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
journal = "BMC Public Health",
issn = "1471-2458",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

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Walker, J, Fairley, CK, Urban, E, Chen, MY, Bradshaw, C, Walker, SM, Donovan, B, Tabrizi, SN, McNamee, K, Currie, M, Pirotta, M, Kaldor, J, Gurrin, LC, Birden, H, Harindra, V, Bowden, FJ, Gunn, JM & Hocking, JS 2011, 'Maximising retention in a longitudinal study of genital Chlamydia trachomatis among young women in Australia', BMC Public Health, vol. 11, 156. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-156

Maximising retention in a longitudinal study of genital Chlamydia trachomatis among young women in Australia. / Walker, Jennifer; Fairley, Christopher K.; Urban, Eve; Chen, Marcus Y.; Bradshaw, Catriona; Walker, Sandra M.; Donovan, Basil; Tabrizi, Sepehr N.; McNamee, Kathleen; Currie, Marian; Pirotta, Marie; Kaldor, John; Gurrin, Lyle C.; Birden, Hudson; Harindra, Veerakathy; Bowden, Francis J.; Gunn, Jane M.; Hocking, Jane S.

In: BMC Public Health, Vol. 11, 156, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Maximising retention in a longitudinal study of genital Chlamydia trachomatis among young women in Australia

AU - Walker, Jennifer

AU - Fairley, Christopher K.

AU - Urban, Eve

AU - Chen, Marcus Y.

AU - Bradshaw, Catriona

AU - Walker, Sandra M.

AU - Donovan, Basil

AU - Tabrizi, Sepehr N.

AU - McNamee, Kathleen

AU - Currie, Marian

AU - Pirotta, Marie

AU - Kaldor, John

AU - Gurrin, Lyle C.

AU - Birden, Hudson

AU - Harindra, Veerakathy

AU - Bowden, Francis J.

AU - Gunn, Jane M.

AU - Hocking, Jane S.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Background: Cohort studies are an important study design however they are difficult to implement, often suffer from poor retention, low participation and bias. The aims of this paper are to describe the methods used to recruit and retain young women in a longitudinal study and to explore factors associated with loss to follow up. Methods. The Chlamydia Incidence and Re-infection Rates Study (CIRIS) was a longitudinal study of Australian women aged 16 to 25 years recruited from primary health care clinics. They were followed up via the post at three-monthly intervals and required to return questionnaires and self collected vaginal swabs for chlamydia testing. The protocol was designed to maximise retention in the study and included using recruiting staff independent of the clinic staff, recruiting in private, regular communication with study staff, making the follow up as straightforward as possible and providing incentives and small gifts to engender good will. Results: The study recruited 66% of eligible women. Despite the nature of the study (sexual health) and the mobility of the women (35% moved address at least once), 79% of the women completed the final stage of the study after 12 months. Loss to follow up bias was associated with lower education level [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR): 0.7 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.5, 1.0)], recruitment from a sexual health centre as opposed to a general practice clinic [AHR: 1.6 (95% CI: 1.0, 2.7)] and previously testing positive for chlamydia [AHR: 0.8 (95% CI: 0.5, 1.0)]. No other factors such as age, numbers of sexual partners were associated with loss to follow up. Conclusions: The methods used were considered effective for recruiting and retaining women in the study. Further research is needed to improve participation from less well-educated women.

AB - Background: Cohort studies are an important study design however they are difficult to implement, often suffer from poor retention, low participation and bias. The aims of this paper are to describe the methods used to recruit and retain young women in a longitudinal study and to explore factors associated with loss to follow up. Methods. The Chlamydia Incidence and Re-infection Rates Study (CIRIS) was a longitudinal study of Australian women aged 16 to 25 years recruited from primary health care clinics. They were followed up via the post at three-monthly intervals and required to return questionnaires and self collected vaginal swabs for chlamydia testing. The protocol was designed to maximise retention in the study and included using recruiting staff independent of the clinic staff, recruiting in private, regular communication with study staff, making the follow up as straightforward as possible and providing incentives and small gifts to engender good will. Results: The study recruited 66% of eligible women. Despite the nature of the study (sexual health) and the mobility of the women (35% moved address at least once), 79% of the women completed the final stage of the study after 12 months. Loss to follow up bias was associated with lower education level [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR): 0.7 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.5, 1.0)], recruitment from a sexual health centre as opposed to a general practice clinic [AHR: 1.6 (95% CI: 1.0, 2.7)] and previously testing positive for chlamydia [AHR: 0.8 (95% CI: 0.5, 1.0)]. No other factors such as age, numbers of sexual partners were associated with loss to follow up. Conclusions: The methods used were considered effective for recruiting and retaining women in the study. Further research is needed to improve participation from less well-educated women.

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U2 - 10.1186/1471-2458-11-156

DO - 10.1186/1471-2458-11-156

M3 - Article

VL - 11

JO - BMC Public Health

JF - BMC Public Health

SN - 1471-2458

M1 - 156

ER -