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A Randomized Trial of Different Trajectories of...

A Randomized Trial of Different Trajectories of Financial Incentives to Optimize Recruitment and Retention in Research


Evidence suggests that financial incentives can increase study enrollment, and that larger incentives are more effective than smaller ones. However, little is known about how different financial incentive strategies for longitudinal studies impact enrollment and attrition rates for randomized clinical trials. We propose a 4-arm pilot randomized trial using a web-based platform to test the relative effectiveness of different payment schedules for a longitudinal survey study on enrollment and attrition rates. We aim to determine whether constant, increasing, u-shaped, or surprise payment schedules are most effective at maximizing participant enrollment and retention in panel data collection, as well whether allowing participants to choose their own payment strategy increases participant enrollment and retention rates compared to an assigned payment schedule. We will recruit participants ages 35 and older from the general public through the Qualtrics platform, a widely used web-based platform that provides access to diverse, on-demand research participants. Total payment to each participant will be held constant across study arms, thus allowing us to isolate the impact of varying payment schedules on enrollment and attrition rates.


  • Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

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