Comparing recruitment modalities for parents of children with autism


A new study examined the effectiveness of different survey recruitment strategies when engaging parents of children with autism.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care, investigators aimed to compare whether phone, email, or text message recruitment strategies were most effective for engaging parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (autism) in an online survey.

To do this, the randomized study used a sample of 1624 parents of children with autism from an integrated health system in Southern California. This population was sent an initial mailed letter and email simultaneously for a survey outreach baseline. After initial contact, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 follow-up recruitment groups—phone, email, or text message. Investigators then compared the efficacy of these 3 recruitment strategies in multivariate models.

After comparing the 3 recruitment groups, it was found that the methods were equally effective for eliciting a survey response. Investigators noted that parents of girls with autism were less likely to respond to survey outreach attempts compared to parents of boys with autism.

The study concluded that multiple modalities of recruitment are effective in engaging parents of children in research.


Bhakta BB, Coleman KJ, Choi KR. Randomized study of survey recruitment strategies for parents of autistic children. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. Published online June 2022:S0891524522001134. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2022.05.008

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