Cancer Causes Control. 2022 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s10552-022-01621-7. Online ahead of print.
Unconditional (upfront) incentives are proposed to improve acceptance of cancer research among underrepresented, racial/ethnic minority populations, but few studies have tested incentive strategies among rural cancer survivors. Descriptive statistics summarized demographic characteristics of survey respondents, and response rates by arm were compared using Chi-square tests. We compared upfront ($2) and response-based ($10 conditional) incentives in a mailed survey of adult post-treatment rural survivors. Individuals meeting eligibility criteria from the electronic medical record (n = 2,830) were randomized into two incentive arms (n = 1,414 for the upfront arm and n = 1,416 for the contingent arm). Of the total delivered, presumed eligible participants (n = 1,304 upfront arm; n = 1,317 contingent arm), 67.8% were aged 65y+, 49.8% were female, and 95.1% were non-Hispanic white. The response rate for all participants was 18.5%. We received eligible surveys from 281 rural survivors in the first arm (response rate: 21.5%); and 205 surveys in the second arm (response rate: 15.6%). Participants who received the upfront incentive had a higher response rate than those receiving a response-based incentive, X2 (1, 2,621) = 15.53, p < 0.0001. Incentivizing survey completion with an upfront $2 bill encouraged a higher survey response rate; other supplemental strategies are needed to achieve a higher response rate for this population.