Web-delivered multimedia training materials for the self-collection of dried blood spots: A formative project

Alicia M. Allen, Kim Lundeen, Sharon E. Murphy, Logan Spector, Bernard L. Harlow

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13 Scopus citations


Background: The use of dried blood spots (DBS) in biomedical research has been increasing as an objective measure for variables that are typically plagued by self-report, such as smoking status and medication adherence. The development of training materials for the self-collection of DBS that can be delivered through the Web would allow for broader use of this methodology. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of the self-collection of DBS using newly developed multimedia training materials that were delivered through the Web. We also aimed to assess the usability of the collected DBS samples. Methods: We recruited participants through Facebook advertising for two distinct studies. The first study evaluated the acceptability of our newly developed DBS training materials, while the second assessed the implementation of this protocol into a larger Web-based study. Results: In the first study, participants (N=115) were aged, on average, 26.1 (SD 6.4) years. Training materials were acceptable (113/115, 98.2%, of participants were willing to collect DBS again) and produced usable samples (110/115, 95.7%, collected DBS were usable). In the second study, response rate was 25.0% (41/164), with responders being significantly younger than nonresponders (20.3 [SD 0.2] vs 22.0 [SD 0.4]; P<.001), and 92% (31/41) of collected DBS samples were usable by the laboratory. Conclusions: Overall, while the protocol is acceptable, feasible, and produced usable samples, additional work is needed to improve response rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere11025
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the University of Minnesota Foundation (NF-0315-01) and the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Grant (K12HD055887; AMA) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (NIH), administered by the University of Minnesota Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health. Further support was provided by UL1TR000114 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the NIH. Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at the University of Minnesota. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the office views of the NICHD or NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Alicia M Allen, Kim Lundeen, Sharon E Murphy, Logan Spector, Bernard L Harlow.


  • Dried blood spot
  • Feasibility studies
  • Internet


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