Response Compliance and Predictors Thereof in Studies Using the Experience Sampling Method

Aki Rintala*, Martien Wampers, Inez Myin-Germeys, Wolfgang Viechtbauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Intensive repeated measurement techniques, such as the experience sampling method (ESM), put high demands on participants and may lead to low response compliance, which, in turn, may affect data quality. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate ESM compliance and predictors thereof based on a pooled dataset of 10 ESM studies with a total of 92,394 momentary assessments from 1,717 individuals with different mental health conditions. All included studies used an ESM paper-and-pencil diary protocol of 4 to 6 study days with 10 random time assessments per day. Analyses were conducted using multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression models. Results indicated overall acceptable compliance with an average response rate of 78% (95% CI [0.74, 0.82]). However, compliance declined across days (p <.001), reaching a low on the 5th day with 73% (95% CI [0.68, 0.77]). Compliance also varied significantly across assessments depending on the time within a day (p <.001), with highest compliance between 12 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. (83%; 95% CI [0.80, 0.86]) and lowest compliance between 7.30 a.m. and 9 a.m. (56%; 95% CI [0.50, 0.62]). Persons with psychosis were less compliant than healthy participants (70% vs. 83%, respectively; p <.001). Also females (p = .002) and older participants (p <.001) were slightly more compliant. The findings suggest acceptable compliance in an ESM protocol of 4 to 6 study days with a high frequency of 10 assessments per day despite fluctuations across and within study days. Further evidence on compliance and its predictors in different ESM protocols is needed, especially in clinical populations.

Public Significance Statement

This study suggests acceptable compliance in experience sampling method (ESM) protocols of 4 to 6 study days with high frequency of 10 assessments per day. This type of ESM protocol can be considered as an option when choosing a protocol for ecological momentary assessment/ESM research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Assessment
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • CLINICAL-ASSESSMENT
  • CORTISOL
  • DAILY-LIFE STRESS
  • ECOLOGICAL MOMENTARY ASSESSMENT
  • ELECTRONIC DIARIES
  • GENETIC RISK
  • INDIVIDUALS
  • MISSING DATA
  • REACTIVITY
  • SYMPTOMS
  • compliance
  • data quality
  • experience sampling method
  • momentary assessment
  • STRESS REACTIVITY
  • DAILY-LIFE

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