Participant attrition in clinical trials and community-based interventions is a serious, common, and costly problem. In order to develop a simple predictive scoring system that can quantify the risk of participant attrition in a lifestyle intervention project, we analyzed data from the Special Diabetes Program for Indians Diabetes Prevention Program (SDPI-DP), an evidence-based lifestyle intervention to prevent diabetes in 36 American Indian and Alaska Native communities. SDPI-DP participants were randomly divided into a derivation cohort (n = 1600) and a validation cohort (n = 801). Logistic regressions were used to develop a scoring system from the derivation cohort. The discriminatory power and calibration properties of the system were assessed using the validation cohort. Seven independent factors predicted program attrition: gender, age, household income, comorbidity, chronic pain, site’s user population size, and average age of site staff. Six factors predicted long-term attrition: gender, age, marital status, chronic pain, site’s user population size, and average age of site staff. Each model exhibited moderate to fair discriminatory power (C statistic in the validation set: 0.70 for program attrition, and 0.66 for long-term attrition) and excellent calibration. The resulting scoring system offers a low-technology approach to identify participants at elevated risk for attrition in future similar behavioral modification intervention projects, which may inform appropriate allocation of retention resources. This approach also serves as a model for other efforts to prevent participant attrition.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 14, 2016
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