The effects of a phone call prompt on subsequent blood donation among first-time donors

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A strategy used by blood centers to retain donors is to place phone call reminders. However, among first-time donors, no studies have tested the effect of this strategy. This was the aim of this study among individuals who had recently given their first lifetime blood donation.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

A quasi-experimental study using a nonequivalent control group was adopted; participants in the control group were donors with blood types B+ and AB+, since these individuals are not phoned by the blood agency. A total of 1604 first-time donors aged 18 to 70 years from the province of Quebec, Canada, were assigned to the experimental (n = 870) or the control (n = 734) group. Participants in the experimental group were phoned a few days before they had a new opportunity to give blood while those in the control condition were not phoned.

RESULTS:

In the experimental condition, 48.3% of the donors attempted to give blood during the 12-month follow-up period compared to 38.0% in the control condition. The hazards of the first blood donation attempt among donors who were phoned were 32% higher compared to the hazards of those who were not phoned (p = 0.0004).

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study indicate that a first phone call reminder about the upcoming opportunity to give blood again has a significant positive effect on return rates among first-time donors.

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