Telephone Reminder Calls Increased Response Rates to Mailed Study Consent Forms

Published in: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, v. 58, no. 7, July 2005, p. 743-746

Posted on on January 01, 2005

by Shana Traina, Catherine MacLean, Grace S. Park, Katherine L. Kahn

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: This study assessed the impact of follow-up reminder phone calls on response rates to a mailed consent form packet. METHODS: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were invited to enroll in a study by signing and returning consent forms by mail. Patients not returning completed study consent forms were called and reminded to return the signed consent forms. RESULTS: Among 724 mailed consent form packets, 376 (52%) were returned without further follow-up. Follow-up reminder calls were made to 220 of the 348 patients who did not return signed consent forms. Among subjects contacted by phone, 67 (31% of those called) returned signed consent forms. CONCLUSION: Follow-up reminder phone calls raised the overall consent rate of 52 to 61%, suggesting that they can be an effective technique in increasing response rates.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.