[StATS]: Monetary incentives (created 2005-01-03)
Someone on the IRBForum asked about monetary incentives in research. This is a controversial area (see the OHRP website, Foy 1998, Sugarman 2004, Young 2001), and especially controversial for studies involving children (Fernhoff 2002) but monetary incentives do indeed help improve recruitment, at least for a postal survey (Edwards 2002; Smeeth 2002).
For what it’s worth, there are a lot of other things besides monetary incentives that influence recruiting and retention. Sometimes something as simple as promising to share the results of the study when it is completed will have a positive impact on recruitment.
- Increasing response rates to postal questionnaires: systematic review. Edwards P, Roberts I, Clarke M, DiGuiseppi C, Pratap S, Wentz R, Kwan I. BMJ 2002: 324(7347); 1183. [Medline] [Abstract] [Full text] [PDF]
- Paying for children to participate in research: A slippery slope or an enlightened stairway? Fernhoff PM. The Journal of Pediatrics 2002: 141(2); 153-154. [Medline]
- Clinical trials in primary care: targeted payments for trials might help improve recruitment and quality [editorial]. Foy R, Parry J, McAvoy B. British Medical Journal 1998: 317(7167); 1168-9. [Medline] [Full text] [PDF]
- Should we pay the patient? Review of financial incentives to enhance patient compliance. Giuffrida A, Torgerson D. British Medical Journal 1997: 315(7110); 703-707. [Medline] [Full text]
- Improving the response rates to questionnaires. Smeeth L, Fletcher AE. BMJ 2002: 324(7347); 1168-1169. [Medline] [Full text] [PDF]
- Ethics in human subjects research: do incentives matter? Grant R, Sugarman J. J Med Philos 2004: 29(6); 717-38. [Medline]
- We may be in danger of bribing volunteers. Young C. Bmj 2001: 322(7277); 45. [Medline] [Full text]
You can find an earlier version of this page on my website.