A randomized trial of the total design method for the postal follow-up of women in a cancer prevention trial

Eur J Cancer Prev. 1996 Jun;5(3):165-8. doi: 10.1097/00008469-199606000-00004.


Mail surveys have been used to follow-up early participants in a Canadian breast cancer prevention trial. To minimize non-response bias, we undertook a randomized study of two postal strategies, of which one was our usual procedure and the other was a systematic application, known as the total design method (TDM) and described by Dillman. The response rates to the two methods were 62 and 88% respectively. The TDM is a practical, cost-efficient approach to reducing non-response bias in postal surveys and as such has an important role in epidemiological research which involves healthy participants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pilot Projects