Journal Article

Sociodemographic and Behavioral Characteristics Associated with Timeliness and Retention in a 6-Month Follow-up Study of High-Risk Injection Drug Users

Antoine Messiah, Helen Navaline, Annet Davis-Vogel, Danielle Tobin-Fiore and David Metzger

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 157, issue 10, pages 930-939
Published in print May 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online May 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwg065

      Sociodemographic and Behavioral Characteristics Associated with Timeliness and Retention in a 6-Month Follow-up Study of High-Risk Injection Drug Users

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Timeliness and retention in a 6-month follow-up study were analyzed by subjects’ baseline characteristics in a seroincidence study of 263 injection drug users at high risk of human immunodeficiency virus infection. Subjects were recruited from September 1997 to June 1998 in community settings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of these subjects, 93% were completers: 11% before the targeted date, 38% at the targeted date, 32% within 1 month of delay, and 12% beyond 1 month. Late completers were more likely than other completers to be younger and to live farther away from the study center, less likely to have stayed in a shelter or a welfare residence during the past year, more likely to have a lower income, and more likely to have shared rinse water, cotton, or cooker. By contrast, loss to follow-up was not associated with these variables. Subjects lost to follow-up were more likely than those retained to have a high school diploma and to have moved during the past year; their source of needles was less likely to be a needle exchange program and more likely to be a shooting gallery. None of the drug-related behaviors that increase the risk of human immunodeficiency virus infection was associated with timeliness or retention, suggesting that the study might be minimally biased.

Keywords: bias (epidemiology); follow-up studies; HIV; substance abuse, intravenous; Abbreviation: HIV, human immunodeficiency virus.

Journal Article.  6700 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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