172648 Using iTunes as a novel incentive for college students participating in a web-based follow-up survey

Monday, October 27, 2008

Renicha McCree-Hale, MA , Department of Health Behavior, UAB School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Ann Elizabeth Montgomery, PhD, MPA, MSSW , School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Natalie G. De La Cruz, MPH, CHES , Health Behavior, University of Alabama Birmingham, Birmigham, AL
Introduction: Web-based research is often limited by low response rates, compounded by the challenge of providing appropriate incentives. Downloadable songs, iTunes, may be an appealing incentive for web-based research.

Methods: A web-based post-test was conducted as part of an evaluation of a peer education program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Students were invited by email one month after attending a workshop to complete a web-based assessment (n=144). Respondents were initially offered two iTunes as an incentive (value $1.98). The iTunes were later increased to four (value $3.96). At least three email reminders were sent to non-responders.

Results: Use of iTunes incentives increased response rates to the web-based survey. Doubling the incentive from two to four iTunes significantly decreased attrition. Of respondents only offered two iTunes (n=62), 18% completed the survey. When the incentive was increased to four iTunes, 26% of those who had not previously responded to the invitation for two iTunes (n=51) completed the survey. Of respondents who were only offered four iTunes (n=44), 57% completed the survey. The overall response rate was 51%.

Conclusion: Incremental increases in incentives from two to four iTunes significantly improved response rates. Determining the acceptable level of iTunes incentives among college students has the potential to impact high attrition rates and provide researchers with cost-effective incentive alternatives. The use of iTunes could become a mainstream incentive in web-based research with adolescents and young adults.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to: Discuss the benefits of using novel incentives such as iTunes to increase response rates associated with web-based surveys. Identify a cost-effective way to deliver participant incentives electronically. Discuss the potential applications for using iTunes as incentives for adolescent and young adult populations.

Keywords: Internet, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a primary investigator on the project and participated in all components of the research process.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.