Title

Higher magnitude cash payments improve research follow-up rates without increasing drug use or perceived coercion

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

In a prior study [Festinger, D.S., Marlowe, D.B., Croft, J.R., Dugosh, K.L., Mastro, N.K., Lee, P.A., DeMatteo, D.S., Patapis, N.S., 2005. Do research payments precipitate drug use or coerce participation? Drug Alcohol Depend. 78 (3) 275-281] we found that neither the mode (cash vs. gift card) nor magnitude ($10, $40, or $70) of research follow-up payments increased rates of new drug use or perceptions of coercion. However, higher payments and payments in cash were associated with better follow-up attendance, reduced tracking efforts, and improved participant satisfaction with the study. The present study extended those findings to higher payment magnitudes. Participants from an urban outpatient substance abuse treatment program were randomly assigned to receive $70, $100, $130, or $160 in either cash or a gift card for completing a follow-up assessment at 6 months post-admission (n ≅ 50 per cell). Apart from the payment incentives, all participants received a standardized, minimal platform of follow-up efforts. Findings revealed that neither the magnitude nor mode of payment had a significant effect on new drug use or perceived coercion. Consistent with our previous findings, higher payments and cash payments resulted in significantly higher follow-up rates and fewer tracking calls. In addition participants receiving cash vs. gift cards were more likely to use their payments for essential, non-luxury purchases. Follow-up rates for participants receiving cash payments of $100, $130, and $160 approached or exceeded the FDA required minimum of 70% for studies to be considered in evaluations of new medications. This suggests that the use of higher magnitude payments and cash payments may be effective strategies for obtaining more representative follow-up samples without increasing new drug use or perceptions of coercion. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Drug and alcohol dependence

Volume

96

First Page

128

Last Page

135

Comments

This article was published in Drug and alcohol dependence, Volume 96, Issue 1-2, Pages 128-135.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.02.007 .

Copyright © 2008.

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