RECRUITMENT OF HEALTHY PARTICIPANTS FOR STUDIES ON RISKS FOR ALCOHOLISM: EFFECTIVENESS OF RANDOM DIGIT DIALLING

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Abstract

Aims

To compare the effectiveness of two strategies for recruiting healthy research volunteers.

Methods

Demographic characteristics and recruitment costs of participants who completed a laboratory study examining risk factors for alcoholism recruited through random digit dialling (N=11) and community advertisements (N=102) were compared.

Results

Advertisement yielded a more representative sample [76% Caucasian, less well educated (M=15.2 years, SEM=0.2; P < 0.05), more equally divided by family history of alcoholism (43% FH− and 57% FH+), and lower in SES (M=42.8, SEM=1.3; P < 0.05)] and was more cost effective ($72 vs $2272 per participant) than random digit dialling.

Conclusions

Findings are relevant to alcohol researchers trying to determine the recruitment strategy that will yield the most representative sample at the lowest cost.

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