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Collecting Followup Life Effectiveness Questionnaire Data

James Neill
Last updated:
15 Dec 2003


You may wish to investigate long-term changes in personal life effectiveness.  This would involve asking participants to complete a followup LEQ assessment (in addition to LEQ data from the first and last day of the program).

How long after the program should I collect followup data?
If you leave too little time (1 or 2 weeks?), it could be argued that the short-term effects have not yet settled.  If you leave too long (1 or 2 years?), it could be argued that maturational forces or other life-shaping events would be too influential. 

So the general guide I offer people is for a:

  • 1 month followup for a 1 day program,

  • a 2 to 3 month followup for a 2 to 9 day program, and

  • a 6 month followup for programs which are 10 days or longer.

You may also consider conducting doing followup assessments (e.g., 3, 6, and 9 months) to investigate the pattern of long-term changes and to help in determining the optimal length of time for future followup assessment.

How should I collect the data?
Here are two options for collecting followup data:

(1)  Mail a followup letter with a reply paid envelope to all participants - click here for a sample letter.  My experience with this method is that you can expect to get around 30% to 50% of participants to respond.  By sending out reminder letters, around a 50% final return rate can be expected.
(2)  Email participants and ask them to complete a followup LEQ assessment on-line.  At this stage I have not got an html method up and running.  One person successfully mailed her followup LEQ and asked people to return the questionnaire or send responses via an email message.  This worked and seemed to boost the return rate.

Collecting other followup data
Depending on the nature of your research or evaluation question, it may also be of interest to collect other forms quantitative data (such as from other questionnaires) or qualitative data (such as from open-ended questions or followup interviews).  Some examples of collecting other data in conjunction with the LEQ can be found in program evaluation studies by Neill (2001) and Neill (2002)