Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Stephen Sonstein, PhD

Committee Member

Anna Suk-Fong Lok, MD

Committee Member

Irwin Martin, PhD


Abstract Background: Low retention rates threaten the validity of clinical research studies and generalizability of the results.

Aims: To survey Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN) Cohort Study participants to evaluate University of Michigan retention strategies, to develop best practices, and to identify other strategies that will improve retention.

Methods: 90 patients that are currently participating in the HBRN Cohort study at the University of Michigan were surveyed.

Results: Participants were a good mix of male (51.2%) and female (46.5%), mostly non-Hispanic, between the age of 40 and 60 years (50%). Roughly half were Asian Chinese (50.2%), had some graduate school education or a professional degree (54.7%), and an annual income of more than $100,000 (45.4%). All the participants had medical insurance (private 87.2% vs. government 12.8%). Average participation in the study was 3.95 years. 22.1% of the participants reported they had missed at least one study visit and the main reason was they forgot the appointment. Participants reported that no co-pay to see the specialists is a better motivating factor than receiving financial compensation for staying in the study (38.4% vs. 18.6%). Participants reported that the overall experience at the visit was the main motivating factor for them to stay in the study. Eighty-nine % of participants responded they are likely to stay in the study that is currently projected to end in late 2019 and moving away from the study site is the main reason why they would discontinue participation in the study.

Conclusion: Overall, participants in the HBRN study seem to be satisfied with how the study is being conducted at our site and willing to stay in the study until 2019, but the results did help us identify a few areas for improvement.