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December 2021

Longitudinal research: methods for maximizing subject follow-up

Author(s): Conigrave, K. M., Kogler, B. E., Saunders, J. B., Hall, W. D.

Journal/Book: Drug Alcohol Rev. 2000; 19: Rankine Rd, Basingstoke Rg24 8Pr, Hants, England. Carfax Publishing. 159-163.

Abstract: Early intervention for hazardous alcohol use has been shown repeatedly to be effective in reducing alcohol consumption, limiting alcohol-related problems and improving biochemical parameters. However, in most studies the follow-up period has been 2 years or less. The current paper presents progress on a 10-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial of early intervention. Methods used for tracing subjects and ensuring minimal refusals are detailed. The intensity of effort required to locate subjects is documented and recommendations for ensuring good follow-up rates are made. At completion of follow-up, 72.5% of the sample reviewed here and 78.2% of the total cohort had been traced. Our experiences demonstrate that long-term follow-up is feasible, given sufficient planning and persistence.

Note: Article Wutzke SE, Drug & Alcohol Serv, Bldg 82 RPAH, Missenden Rd, Camperdown, NSW 2050, AUSTRALIA

Keyword(s): early intervention; alcohol; long term follow-up; tracing methods; PREVENTION RESEARCH; ATTRITION; SMOKING; RATES; RISK

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