Background: Few studies include adolescents in sexually transmitted infection clinical trials. This study describes retention rate, number of contacts needed with participants, and the characteristics (demographics, family environment, previous research experience and attitudes about parental involvement) associated with adolescent-parent dyad retention at one year.
Methods: Adolescent (14-17 years) and parent dyads were recruited for a study assessing willingness to participate (WTP) in a hypothetical microbicide safety study. Dyads were considered retained if both parties returned. Chi-square tests assessed bivariate associations with dyad retention and logistic regression was used to evaluate those associations in a multivariable model.
Results: Of the 300 dyads, 83% (n=248) returned; 58% of those that returned attended their first scheduled follow-up appointment. The 52 non-retained dyads included 12 where only one member of the dyad returned (5 parents/7 adolescents). The remaining 40 dyads either declined, were unable to be contacted or did not attend a scheduled appointment. The mean number of contacts was significantly greater in the non-retained group (9.7 ± 5.3 versus 5.6 ± 3.8 contacts, p<.0001). Of the entire sample, 5% (n = 21) of the dyads had ≥15 contacts, of which 43% were retained. In bivariate analyses, adolescent gender and age, parent’s education level and Hispanic ethnicity, and adolescent previous research participation and WTP in the hypothetical trial were all significantly related to retention. In the final multivariable model, dyads that consisted of female and younger adolescents, non-Hispanic parents and parents with a high school education compared to less than high school education were more likely to be retained.
Conclusions: In this study of dyad retention, over half of the dyads returned immediately. While this analysis suggests that specific follow-up interventions can be planned for those dyads most likely to be non-retained, it remains unclear when to discontinue follow-up communication given the outliers that followed-up with continued contact.