The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 43–52 | Cite as

Strategies for Successful Retention of Alaska Native and American Indian Study Participants

  • Diana Redwood
  • Jessica Leston
  • Elvin Asay
  • Elizabeth Ferucci
  • Ruth Etzel
  • Anne P. Lanier
Original Paper


This paper reports the strategies used to track and follow 3,828 Alaska Native and American Indian study participants in the city of Anchorage and more rural areas of Alaska and provides characteristics of respondents and non-respondents. Over 88% were successfully followed-up, with 49% of respondents completed in three or fewer attempts. Follow-up completion rates were significantly higher for women, those living in a rural area, over age 55, married, employed, having a higher household income, and at current residence for more than five years. Follow-up of large numbers of Alaska Native and American Indian people living in geographically diverse areas is feasible, although challenging. Successful strategies to avoid attrition include using telephones as the primary method of contact; using a computerized contact relationship management system to track efforts and manage data; obtaining contact information from participant contact networks, medical records, and community networks; using local village interviewers to contact participants without telephone service; and mailing paper questionnaires to participants who are incarcerated or use social services.


Computer-based tracking Participant retention Longitudinal research Alaska Native 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Redwood
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jessica Leston
    • 1
  • Elvin Asay
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Ferucci
    • 1
  • Ruth Etzel
    • 2
  • Anne P. Lanier
    • 1
  1. 1.Alaska Native Tribal Health ConsortiumAnchorageUSA
  2. 2.Southcentral FoundationAnchorageUSA
  3. 3.AnchorageUSA

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