Recruitment and Retention in Web-Based Smoking Studies

Improving Recruitment and Retention in Web-Based Smoking Cessation Research: A Pilot Study

Few studies have addressed enrollment and retention methods in online smoking cessation interventions. Fully automated web-based trials can yield large numbers of participants rapidly, but suffer from high rates of attrition. Personal contact with participants can increase recruitment of smokers into cessation trials and improve participant retention.  The goal of this study was to compare the impact of web-based (WEB) and phone (PH) baseline assessments on enrollment and retention metrics in the context of a Facebook smoking cessation study. Results indicated that a more intensive phone baseline assessment protocol yielded a lower rate of enrollment, equivalent follow-up rates, and higher enrollment costs compared to a web-based assessment protocol. The study authors called for future research to focus on honing mixed mode assessment protocols to further optimize enrollment and retention.