Menu Close

Determinants of Participation in an Epidemiological Study of Preterm Delivery


Savitz, David A.; Dole, Nancy; Williams, Jude F.; Thorp, John M., Jr.; McDonald, Thaddeus L.; Carter, Anne C.; & Eucker, Barbara (1999). Determinants of Participation in an Epidemiological Study of Preterm Delivery. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 13(1), 114-125.


We describe the study design and patterns of participation for a cohort study of preterm delivery, focused on genital tract infections, nutrition, tobacco use, illicit drugs and psychosocial stress. Women are recruited at 24-29 weeks' gestation from prenatal clinics at a teaching hospital and a county health department. We recruited 57% of the first 1843 eligible women; 29% refused and 8% could not be contacted. White women were somewhat more likely to participate than African-American women (61% vs. 54% respectively). More notable differences were found comparing teaching hospital and health department clinics (71% vs. 47% participation respectively), with the health department clinic having a greater proportion refuse (24% vs. 33%) and more women who could not be contacted (4% vs. 11%). Participation was affected only minimally by day or timing of recruitment, but inability to contact diminished substantially as the study continued (13-0%). Refusals were largely unrelated to patient attributes. Lower education predicted inability to contact. Risk of preterm delivery was 14% among recruited women, 10% among women who refused, and 15% among women whom we were not able to contact, demonstrating that, overall, risk status was not lower among recruited women.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology


Savitz, David A.
Dole, Nancy
Williams, Jude F.
Thorp, John M., Jr.
McDonald, Thaddeus L.
Carter, Anne C.
Eucker, Barbara