Increasing Follow-Up Rates in Longitudinal Studies of Women with Alcohol Use Disordersedit
Follow-up rates of longitudinal studies are of particular concern for persons with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) as many have transient lifestyles. This article summarizes barriers to follow-up, as well as strategies to increase follow-up rates in a pilot randomized clinical trial for reducing HIV/STD risks in women with AUDs. Participants were 32 women enrolled in residential substance abuse treatment with an AUD diagnosis with follow-up interviews conducted at 2 and 6 months postresidential care discharge. The initial 2-month follow-up rate was lower than expected at 65%, so researchers implemented 6 strategies to improve future follow-up rates. Two-month follow-up rates improved from 65% to 86.6%. Only 1 participant was lost between 2-month and 6-month follow-up (95.8% completion rate), with 71.8% for the entire sample. Findings support the usefulness of these procedures to improve follow-up.