Telephone follow-up was more expensive but more efficient than postal in a national stroke registry

Natasha Lannin, Craig Anderson, Joyce Lim, Kate Paice, Christopher Price, S Faux, Christopher Levi, G Donnan, Dominique Cadilhac

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To compare the efficiency and differential costs of telephone- vs. mail-based assessments of outcome in patients registered in a national clinical quality of care registry, the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry (AuSCR). Study Design and Setting: The participants admitted to hospital with stroke or transient ischemic attack were randomly assigned to complete a health questionnaire by mail or telephone interview at 3-6 months postevent. Response rate, researcher burden, and costs of each method were compared. Results: Compared with the participants in the mail questionnaire arm (n = 277; 50% female; mean age: 70 years), those in the telephone arm (n = 282; 45% female; mean age: 68 years) required a shorter time to complete the follow-up (mean difference: 24.2 days; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 15.0, 33.5 days). However, the average cost of completing a telephone follow-up was greater (US$20.87 vs. US$13.86) and had a similar overall response to the mail method (absolute difference: 0.57%; 95% CI: -4.8%, 6%). Conclusion: Posthospital stroke outcome data were slower to collect by mail, but the method achieved a similar completion rate and was significantly cheaper to conduct than follow-up telephone interview. Findings are informative for planning outcome data collection in large numbers of patients with acute stroke.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)896-902
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


    • Data collection
    • Follow-up studies
    • Registries
    • Response rate
    • Stroke
    • Surveys


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