Implementing Self-collection of Biological Specimens With a Diverse Sample

Field methods. 2013 Feb 1;25(1):10.1177/1525822X12453526. doi: 10.1177/1525822X12453526.


Collecting saliva is the most noninvasive way to detect changing levels of cortisol (Adam & Kumari, 2009; Soo-Quee Koh & Choon-Huat Koh, 2007), a stress hormone of interest to behavioral and health scientists, where there are benefits from multiple samples taken over a period of days. Various self-collection strategies have been employed, ranging from treated cards to cotton swabs and passive drool methods. The current study investigates the effectiveness of a variety of reminder techniques in encouraging adherence with procedures requiring 4 samples per day on 3 separate days of passive drool collection among African American and European American young adults. The findings suggest that direct texts were associated with the greatest level of adherence, while phone reminders were most effective when controlling for total number of contacts. Results indicate that both traditional and novel reminder methods can positively influence adherence, even with challenging populations.

Keywords: biological samples; biomarker; diurnal cortisol; saliva collection.