Research fundamentals: Follow-up of subjects in clinical trials: Addressing subject attrition

Robert H. Woolard, Kathleen Carty, Philip Wirtz, Richard Longabaugh, Ted D. Nirenberg, P. Allison Minugh, Bruce Becker, Patrick R. Clifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many published clinical trials have less than adequate follow-up. When conducting a clinical trial, researchers attempt to minimize data loss; however, some data may not be collected, particularly when subjects are lost to follow-up. Careful planning of research protocols, including comprehensive initial data collection, identification of locators, flexible scheduling, systematic subject tracking, monitoring subject loss, and systematically approaching problem cases can ensure high follow-up rates. This article presents a compendium of techniques and procedures that researchers can use to enhance follow-up and address attrition in their studies. Finally, this article outlines statistical techniques that can be used to address the effects of missing data, particularly when patients are lost to follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-866
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • attrition
  • follow-up
  • injury prevention
  • intoxication
  • missing data
  • research methodology

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    Woolard, R. H., Carty, K., Wirtz, P., Longabaugh, R., Nirenberg, T. D., Minugh, P. A., Becker, B., & Clifford, P. R. (2004). Research fundamentals: Follow-up of subjects in clinical trials: Addressing subject attrition. Academic Emergency Medicine, 11(8), 859-866. https://doi.org/10.1197/j.aem.2003.09.021