University of Vermont

University of Vermont Nicotine Patch Study

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I do the automated phone surveys?

You will be calling into a computer that will ask questions by a recorded voice that you will answer by using your phone's keypad.  

How do I access the telephone survey system?

  • You will be given a toll free number to access the daily phone survey
  • Enter your ID number when asked for it. 

You will then hear the following greeting:  “Welcome to the University of Vermont Nicotine Patch Study.”

You can contact the study coordinator at 1-866 814-5747 if you are having problems with the call-in system. If you leave a message, please give your study number or your name in the message.

What if I make a mistake?

If you make a mistake entering your ID number, you should get an error message then a chance to re-enter the code. If you do not get an error message but the telephone survey program isn't working correctly, just hang up and try again from the beginning.

If you forget your ID number, and you enter the wrong number three times, you will be given a chance to press the pound key (#) to be connected to the answering machine for the research team. We will call you back as soon as possible during the next business day.

If you make a mistake when answering a study question, you may get an error message. For example, if you entered a 5 by mistake instead of a 2: "For yes enter 1 or  for no enter 0." You will have another chance to enter an answer. If you answer a 0, but really wanted to answer a 1, you will have to change your answer (see below).

What if I want to change my answer?

Press the * key and the previous question will be asked again. If necessary you can use the * key to step back 2 or more questions, but you must do so by stepping back one question at a time.

What questions will be asked?

You will be asked questions about your smoking and nicotine patch use as well as questions about possible side effects.

How do I answer the questions?

You will have to use the keypad on your telephone. For most questions, press 1 for yes, 0 for no. There are also questions that require other responses. You will always be reminded about what your choices are. Any time you are unsure of what your choices are, just wait a few seconds and your choices will be repeated. 

Why is there a beep in the question?

The computer will only accept answers entered after the beep.

When do I call?

Calls are expected  between 2 hours before your regular bedtime until noon the next day.  If you call too early, you will hear the following:  “Calls for today can’t be accepted now.  Please call back after (the earliest time you are allowed to call).”  

What if I don't call?

We prefer that you call in the evening. If you miss the call in the evening, you will be able to call until noon the next day. If you miss making the call the questions will be just be  left unanswered for that day. You will not be able to make up the missed questions. If you complete the call  you will be paid $2. You will earn a $10 bonus each week if you make at least 6 calls during the week.

If you agreed to get reminder calls, you will get the evening reminder call at the time you want at the number you want--but only if you haven't already completed the survey.  If you still have not called in, the next reminder call will be in the morning at a time selected by you.

If you don't make the call for one day, you will not be paid the daily $2.  Miss 2 calls in the week and you will not get the bonus for the  week. 

Reminder calls.

To help you make the daily calls, we offer to call you twice to remind you if you haven't made your call yet.  You can tell us when to remind you in the evening. If you still don’t make your call, another reminder call can occur in the morning at a time selected by you.  You can go directly to the survey during the reminder call by pressing the # key and then entering your ID number when asked for it.  Reminder calls are optional and are set up during your screening and registration call.  If during the study, you wish to begin or to stop reminder calls, please call us at 1-866 814-5747 or send an email to smoking@uvm.edu. Also contact us if you need to change the time or phone number for your reminders. 

Can I use a cellular phone?

Yes, as long as you’re not in a moving vehicle.  If you are in a moving vehicle the connection may be cut and you will have to call back and start the survey again from the beginning. Some cell phone companies charge customers for connecting to toll-free numbers. If you will be using a cell phone for your calls, please check your cell phone carrier’s rules. The study will not reimburse participants for these charges. 

I'm going on vacation/out of town. 

You can call from any touch tone phone in the continental US or Canada. If you are going elsewhere, please let us know by calling 1-866 814-5747, by leaving a message at the end of the daily phone survey, or by sending an email to smoking@uvm.edu.

I'm moving.

You can continue in the study as long as you stay within the continental US or Canada. Please let the study coordinator know by calling 1-866 814-5747, by leaving a message at the end of the daily phone survey, or by sending an email to smoking@uvm.edu.

What if I have questions?

Please communicate with the study coordinator by calling 1-866 814-5747, by leaving a message at the end of the daily phone survey, or by sending an email to smoking@uvm.edu. Please give your name or study number in your voice message or e-mail. 

How do I complete my questionnaires?

There are questionnaires at the beginning of the study, after 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, and 6 months. At the beginning of the study you will decide if you prefer to do your questionnaires online or on paper.

If you choose paper, the questionnaires will be mailed to you with a stamped envelope so you can return the papers when you are done.

If you choose online, you will go to http://www.uvm.edu/hbpl/nps and click on the button for participants. You will be directed to the questionnaires which are hosted by vistastudies.com. You will get e-mail reminders when it is time to do the 3, 4, 5 and 6- month follow-up questionnaires.


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Participation is voluntary and confidential.

Last modified March 05 2013 10:49 AM

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