Factors assessed in the first year of a longitudinal study predict subsequent study visit compliance: the TEDDY study

Jessica Melin, Kristian F. Lynch, Markus Lundgren, Carin Andrén Aronsson, Helena Elding Larsson, Suzanne Bennett Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Compliance with a study protocol is central to meeting its research goals. In longitudinal research studies, data loss due to missed visits limit statistical power and introduce bias. The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study is a longitudinal multinational (US, Finland, Germany, and Sweden) investigation of children at risk for type 1 diabetes (T1D) that seeks to identify the environmental triggers of islet autoimmunity and T1D. The purpose of the current study was to identify sociodemographic variables and maternal characteristics assessed in the first year of TEDDY that were associated with study visit compliance in the subsequent 3 years. Methods: Sociodemographic variables, maternal life-style behaviors, post-partum depression, maternal reactions to the child’s T1D risk, and study-related variables were collected at child-age 6 months and 15 months. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the association of these variables to study visit compliance in the subsequent 3 years. Results: Study visit compliance was highest in Sweden (p > 0.001), in children who were their mother’s first child (p > 0.001), and whose mothers were older (p > 0.001) and more satisfied with the TEDDY study (p > 0.001). Father participation was also associated with better study visit compliance (p > 0.001). In contrast, children whose mothers smoked (p > 0.001), suffered from post-partum depression (p = 0.034), and were more anxious about their child’s T1D risk (p = 0.002), completed fewer visits. Father’s study satisfaction was also associated with study visit compliance (p = 0.029); however, it was not significant in models that included maternal study satisfaction. Conclusions: Sociodemographic variables, maternal characteristics—including study satisfaction—and fathers’ participation in the first year of a longitudinal study were associated with subsequent study visit compliance in a sample of children genetically at-risk for T1D followed for 4 years. This information can inform future strategies designed to improve study visit compliance in longitudinal pediatric studies. Trial registration: NCT00279318, 06/09/2004.

Original languageEnglish
Article number592
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes

Free keywords

  • Child
  • Longitudinal study
  • Parent
  • Study satisfaction
  • Study visit compliance
  • Type 1 diabetes


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