Monetary incentives (created 2005-01-03)
Someone on the IRBForum asked about monetary incentives in research. This
is a controversial area (see the
Foy 1998, Sugarman 2004, Young 2001), and especially controversial for
studies involving children (Fernhoff 2002) but monetary incentives do indeed
help improve recruitment, at least for a postal survey (Edwards 2002; Smeeth
For what it's worth, there are a lot of other things
besides monetary incentives that influence recruiting and retention.
Sometimes something as simple as promising to share the results of the study
when it is completed will have a positive impact on recruitment.
- Increasing response rates to postal questionnaires: systematic
review. Edwards P, Roberts I, Clarke M, DiGuiseppi C, Pratap S, Wentz R,
Kwan I. BMJ 2002: 324(7347); 1183.
- Paying for children to participate in research: A slippery slope or
an enlightened stairway? Fernhoff PM. The Journal of Pediatrics 2002:
- Clinical trials in primary care: targeted payments for trials might
help improve recruitment and quality [editorial]. Foy R, Parry J, McAvoy
B. British Medical Journal 1998: 317(7167); 1168-9.
- Should we pay the patient? Review of financial incentives to enhance
patient compliance. Giuffrida A, Torgerson D. British Medical Journal
1997: 315(7110); 703-707.
- Improving the response rates to questionnaires. Smeeth L,
Fletcher AE. BMJ 2002: 324(7347); 1168-1169.
- Ethics in human subjects research: do incentives matter? Grant R,
Sugarman J. J Med Philos 2004: 29(6); 717-38.
- We may be in danger of bribing volunteers. Young C. Bmj 2001:
This page was written by
Steve Simon while working at Children's Mercy Hospital. Although I do not hold the copyright for this material, I am reproducing it here as a service, as it is no longer available on the Children's Mercy Hospital website. Need more
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Category: Ethics in research.