Having a primary care provider is the strongest predictor of successful follow-up of participants in a clinical trial

Samuel H. Friedman, Chinazo O. Cunningham, Juan Lin, Linda B. Haramati, Jeffrey M. Levsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Ethnic minorities, women, and those of low socioeconomic status are widely underrepresented in clinical trials. Few studies have explored factors associated with successful follow-up in these historically difficult-to-reach patients. This study’s objective was to identify patient characteristics and methods of contact that predict successful contact for follow-up in an urban, predominantly ethnic minority, majority-women, poor population to help devise strategies to improve retention. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed records from a prospective randomized control trial of 400 hospitalized chest pain patients to determine which characteristics were associated with successful telephone follow-up at 1 year after enrollment. We assessed demographic variables, medical history, and social factors by using bivariate analyses. A multivariate analysis was performed using variables from the bivariate analysis with P ≤ .2. Results: The overall successful 1-year follow-up rate was 95% (381/400). Study participants who completed follow-up were significantly more likely to have a primary care physician (PCP) (88% [337/ 381] versus 68% [13/19]), speak English natively (52% [199/381] versus 26% [5/19]), have a higher Charlson comorbidity index score, and identify as women (64.0% [244/381] versus 42.1% [8/19]). Having a PCP and native English language remained significant at multivariate analysis. Socioeconomic status score, quantity of contact information recorded at recruitment, and insurance status were not significantly associated with successful follow-up. Conclusions: Patients engaged with the health care system by having a PCP are significantly more likely to achieve follow-up. Successful follow-up is also associated with native English speaking. The potential of improving follow-up by facilitating connections with health care providers requires further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Ethnic Groups
  • Minority Groups
  • Retrospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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