Blood spots as an alternative to whole blood collection and the effect of a small monetary incentive to increase participation in genetic association studies

Parveen Bhatti, Diane Kampa, Bruce H Alexander, Christopher McClure, Danny Ringer, Michele M. Doody, Alice J. Sigurdson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Collection of buccal cells from saliva for DNA extraction offers a less invasive and convenient alternative to venipuncture blood collection that may increase participation in genetic epidemiologic studies. However, dried blood spot collection, which is also a convenient method, offers a means of collecting peripheral blood samples from which analytes in addition to DNA can be obtained. Methods: To determine if offering blood spot collection would increase participation in genetic epidemiologic studies, we conducted a study of collecting dried blood spot cards by mail from a sample of female cancer cases (n = 134) and controls (n = 256) who were previously selected for a breast cancer genetics study and declined to provide a venipuncture blood sample. Participants were also randomized to receive either a $2.00 bill or no incentive with the blood spot collection kits. Results: The average time between the venipuncture sample refusal and recruitment for the blood spot collection was 4.4 years. Thirty-seven percent of cases and 28% of controls provided a dried blood spot card. While the incentive was not associated with participation among controls (29% for $2.00 incentive vs. 26% for no incentive, p = 0.6), it was significantly associated with participation among the breast cancer cases (48% vs. 27%, respectively, p = 0.01). There did not appear to be any bias in response since no differences between cases and controls and incentive groups were observed when examining several demographic, work history and radiation exposure variables. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that collection of dried blood spot cards in addition to venipuncture blood samples may be a feasible method to increase participation in genetic case-control studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number76
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the radiologic technologists who participated in the USRT Study; Jerry Reid of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists for continued support of this study; Allison Iwan of the University of Minnesota for coordinating the blood spot collection and Kim Doeden of Research Triangle International for preparing the blood spot collection pictogram. This study was supported in part by contracts NO1-CP-31018, NO2-CP-31013, and NO2-CP-31003 from the Intramural Research Program of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

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