Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Anders Hammerich Riis

A successful implementation of e-epidemiology: the Danish pregnancy planning study 'Snart-Gravid'

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Krista F Huybrechts, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA., United States
  • Ellen M Mikkelsen
  • Tina Christensen
  • Anders Riis
  • Elizabeth E Hatch, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA., United States
  • Lauren A Wise, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA., Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; Slone Epidemiology Center, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts., United States
  • Henrik Toft Sørensen
  • Kenneth J Rothman, Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA., RTI Health Solutions, United States
The attraction of being able to use the internet for the recruitment of an epidemiologic cohort stems mainly from cost efficiency and convenience. The pregnancy planning study ('Snart-Gravid')-a prospective cohort study of Danish women planning a pregnancy-was conducted to evaluate the feasibility and cost efficiency of using internet-based recruitment and follow-up. Feasibility was assessed by examining patient accrual data over time, questionnaire-specific response rates and losses to follow-up. The relative cost efficiency was examined by comparing the study costs with those of an alternative non internet-based study approach. The target recruitment of 2,500 participants over 6 months was achieved using advertisements on a health-related website, supported by a coordinated media strategy at study initiation. Questionnaire cycle-specific response rates ranged from 87 to 90% over the 12-month follow-up. At 6 months, 87% of women had a known outcome or were still under follow-up; at 12 months the figure was 82%. The study cost of $400,000 ($160 per enrolled subject) compared favorably with the estimated cost to conduct the same study using a conventional non-internet based approach ($322 per subject). The gain in efficiency with the internet-based approach appeared to be even more substantial with longer follow-up and larger study sizes. The successful conduct of this pilot study suggests that the internet may be a useful tool to recruit and follow subjects in prospective cohort studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Volume25
Issue5
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages7
ISSN0393-2990
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 20258398