Case Study

Enhancing Daily Diary Compliance using IVRCC Incentive Tracking

IVRCC collaborated with the client on the development of an incentive program, real-time tracking, a reminder system and reporting modules that resulted in better compliance by subjects.


Objective: The electronic diary questionnaire focused on intensively measuring mood, stress, substance use and sexual behavior to investigate how daily process variables (i.e., fluctuating from day-to-day) may be related to gender-based misconduct (GBM) and sexual behaviors. The study may help to provide guidance and recommendations for interventions at the individual and community level.


  • Automated real-time tracking and reporting on the subject incentive program ‘gains’ and ‘losses’ boosted engagement and increased e-diary questionnaire compliance
  • SMS text reminders and alerts were custom-configured to enhance e-diary compliance


  • 1 site, academic / university
  • 400+ self-selecting 1st semester undergraduates
  • 60 day diary questionnaire


Compliance, Compliance, Compliance

  • To encourage participants to voluntarily self-register during a two-week period and complete a detailed Baseline diary using IVRCC’s IRTdiary web-based system.
  • To maintain high participant engagement and encourage completion of the electronic web daily diaries for 60 days.


  • 95%+ subject retention, of subjects who registered and completed their extended baseline diary
  • 95%+ completion of daily diaries expected, from the entire 400+ subject group

The Study

College undergraduates were notified of an observational study being conducted by the university, intending to collect data via a 5-minute online questionnaire for 60 days. Participants were asked to self-register, undergo a brief training and complete an initial Baseline assessment.

Several strategies were employed to maintain subject engagement and to enhance daily compliance:

1. Daily text message reminders at the start of the open window for completion each day. Participants were able to opt-in to receive an additional text reminder six hours into their diary time window.

2. Compensation for completion of initial 15-minute baseline assessment to start their 60-day diary commitment.

3. Nominal compensation for completion of the daily dairy with escalating incentives.

4. Loss aversion tactics (i.e., a small penalty for non-compliance).

5. Variable reinforcement (i.e., a daily, weekly, and monthly lottery).

Each time participants logged in to the diary website, their current balance and lottery status were displayed. Through the diary system, participants could opt to receive their earned funds once per week.

What We Did

  • Incentive compensation plan and real-time tracking
  • Incentive lottery program and reporting
  • Custom-configured reminders to subjects delivered via SMS text

From project managers to administrators and programmers, the IVRCC team worked closely with the client to design and create custom applications that tracked and displayed the results of diary compliance to the participants. All calculations were in real-time so that the system reporting was current and accessible at all times.

A wide variety of customized reminders, alerts and notifications are standard to our applications and many different types were utilized in this study. Automation removed the burden of time-consuming and easy-to-forget follow-up tasks from participants and administrators.

Carefully timed reminders enhanced compliance by following up again with participants who had not yet completed their diary for a designated time period.

IVRCC has 25+ years of migrating questionnaires, both validated standard instruments and study specific designs, to voice phone and web modes. Our secure web-based computer-assisted self-interviewing (CASI) applications can be accessed via a computer, smartphone, and tablet-accessible websites, with friendly formatting provided for most standard operating systems.

In this case study, compliance was a very important potential issue to address because of the very busy and potentially distracted undergraduate student demographic.

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For more information or to schedule a demonstration, please contact:

Nancy Hudak
IVR Clinical Concepts Inc.