5214.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 2:50 PM

Abstract #16072

Attrition in a longitudinal prevention study

Carol J. Loveland-Cherry, PhD, RN, Samuel R. Kaufman, AB, MA, and Mary I. Pappas, BA. School of Nursing, The University of Michigan, 400 N. Ingalls, Suite 1154, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0482, 734-764-7188, loveland@umich.edu

Longitudinal prevention studies, especially those with universal interventions, are plagued by significant attrition. Potential threats to the integrity of the study are inherent in attrition, especially if it is differential relative to participants in the control versus treatment condition. Even with careful consideration of strategies to minimize attrition, the loss of subjects may be significant with repeated measures studies. Two avenues that are often used to deal with attrition once the study is in progress are attempts to re-enlist participants and statistical techniques. This paper will describe the strategies used and the outcomes of those efforts in a longitudinal experimental study of the efficacy of a family based intervention to prevent adolescent alcohol use. These approaches address attrition in families assigned to the control condition and in families assigned to the treatment condition and who actually participated in the treatment. The study sample consisted of two cohorts (A and B) of adolescents and their parents. Attrition in the cohorts from pretest to posttests averaged 56% for parents and 51% for adolescents in Cohort A and 32% for parents and 43% for adolescents in Cohort B. The relative costs and benefits of each strategy will be described.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Identify sources of attrition in longitudinal prevention studies; 2. Describe strategies for addressing attrition in longitudinal prevention studies; 3. List advantages and disadvantages of various strategies to address attrition in longitudinal prevention studies

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA