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Type: Journal article
Title: Pre-survey text messages (SMS) improve participation rate in an Australian mobile telephone survey: an experimental study
Author: Dal Grande, E.
Chittleborough, C.
Campostrini, S.
Dollard, M.
Taylor, A.
Citation: PLoS One, 2016; 11(2):e0150231-1-e0150231-10
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1932-6203
Editor: Courvoisier, D.
Statement of
Eleonora Dal Grande, Catherine Ruth Chittleborough, Stefano Campostrini, Maureen Dollard, Anne Winifred Taylor
Abstract: Mobile telephone numbers are increasingly being included in household surveys samples. As approach letters cannot be sent because many do not have address details, alternatives approaches have been considered. This study assesses the effectiveness of sending a short message service (SMS) to a random sample of mobile telephone numbers to increase response rates. A simple random sample of 9000 Australian mobile telephone numbers: 4500 were randomly assigned to be sent a pre-notification SMS, and the remaining 4500 did not have a SMS sent. Adults aged 18 years and over, and currently in paid employment, were eligible to participate. American Association for Public Opinion Research formulas were used to calculated response cooperation and refusal rates. Response and cooperation rate were higher for the SMS groups (12.4% and 28.6% respectively) than the group with no SMS (7.7% and 16.0%). Refusal rates were lower for the SMS group (27.3%) than the group with no SMS (35.9%). When asked, 85.8% of the pre-notification group indicated they remembered receiving a SMS about the study. Sending a pre-notification SMS is effective in improving participation in population-based surveys. Response rates were increased by 60% and cooperation rates by 79%.
Keywords: Humans
Sampling Studies
Cooperative Behavior
Refusal to Participate
Middle Aged
Text Messaging
Surveys and Questionnaires
Community Participation
Cell Phone
Rights: © 2016 Dal Grande et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150231
Grant ID: ARC
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