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An Examination of Incentive Strategies to Increase Participation in Outcomes Research for an Adolescent Inpatient Unit

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Tracking adolescent outcomes after inpatient hospitalization is important in informing clinical care for this age group, as inpatient care is one of the most expensive treatment modalities. This study examined 4 incentive strategies used to maintain adolescent participation in follow-up research (at 6, 12, and 18 mo) after their discharge from the hospital (N=267). A generalized estimation equation approach was taken to investigate whether different incentive strategies predicted adolescent completion of the follow-up assessments at each time point. Findings demonstrate that implementation of social worker contact significantly differed from other incentive strategies in increasing adolescent completion of follow-up assessments (Z=2.51, P=0.012) over the 3 time points, even when controlling for age and sex. Although these findings ultimately need to be confirmed through a randomized controlled study of incentive strategies, they provide preliminary support for the notion that relational incentives, such as maintaining contact with a member of the clinical team at the hospital, may be particularly important in promoting adolescent participation in outcomes research.
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Keywords: adolescents; incentives; inpatient; outcomes research; retention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MADAN: Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, HA and SHARP: Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX, HA, MADAN, LONG, and SHARP: The Menninger Clinic, Houston, TX

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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