Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 95, Issue 6, pp 837–849 | Cite as

Self-Reported Interest to Participate in a Health Survey if Different Amounts of Cash or Non-Monetary Incentive Types Were Offered

  • Guili Zheng
  • Sona Oksuzyan
  • Shelly Hsu
  • Jennifer Cloud
  • Mirna Ponce Jewell
  • Nirvi Shah
  • Lisa V. Smith
  • Douglas Frye
  • Tony KuoEmail author


The objective of this study was to assess monetary and non-monetary factors that can influence the decision to participate in a future health survey. A questionnaire was administered to eligible, low-income participants (n = 1502) of the 2012 Los Angeles County Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (LAHANES-II). Multivariable regression analyses were performed to describe factors potentially associated with future intent to participate in similar survey designs. The results of the survey suggest that, overall, female participants had a greater interest in participating under a variety of incentive scenarios. Compared to the 25–34 age group, older participants (35–44, 45–84) reported more interest to participate if $10 cash [prepaid gift/debit card], a coupon for product/travel, or a small item [e.g., granola bar, t-shirt, pen] was offered, whereas younger participants (18–24) reported greater interest for $25 cash or a coupon for product/travel. Non-Whites, when compared to Whites/Non-Hispanics, reported greater interest to participate if any of the incentives was offered. High school graduates, when compared to those with some college education, reported greater interest to participate if $10 cash, a small item, or a lottery ticket was offered. Presence of two or more chronic conditions increased interest while concerns about participation in LAHANES-II was associated with reduced interest to participate in future health-related surveys. The results suggest that both incentives and non-monetary considerations (e.g., personal concerns about participating and individual level characteristics) can influence the decision to participate in health-related surveys and offer insights into strategies that can improve response rates for these assessments that are often used to inform community planning.


Survey incentives Health survey Health assessment Response rates 



The authors thank Elizabeth Rubin, Ashley Stegall, Ekaterina Gee, Delia Bedair, Jerome Blake, Heena Hameed, Brenda Robles, Susie Tang, Frank Sorvillo, Deborah Davenport, Angel Aquino, Rachel Lee, Elaine Massengill, Violet Williams, David Caley, the CHS Administration and the Area Health Officers for their assistance in facilitating the LAHANES-II data collection. The authors also thank Leila Family for reviewing the manuscript prior to submission. This study utilized information from a project that was previously supported in part by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative (3U58DP002485-01S1). No funding was received for this analysis.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Planning and Data Analytics, Los Angeles County Department of Health ServicesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Research and Innovations, Department of HIV and STD Programs, Los Angeles County Department of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Community Health Services, Los Angeles County Department of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, Los Angeles County Department of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.The New York Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Department of EpidemiologyUCLA Fielding School of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  8. 8.Department of Family MedicineDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

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