An important part of any study is to monitor participation adherence, in order to make sure high quality data is collected from all participants during the study. Ethica provides a few tools which can help on this front. Adherence page provides a quick overview on each participant's adherence, while Data Quantity Report page visualizes how many data records are provided by a given participant from a given data source. In this section we describe Adherence page in details.
The following image shows the Adherence page for one of the sample studies.
Each row in this page shows information for one participant, and includes the following:
- Participant #: The unique ID of the participant. This ID is used across the system to refer to this participant.
- Last Recorded Data: The time of the last record of data Ethica has received from any of these participant's devices.
- Joined In: The date this participant joined the study and started providing data. If participant joins prior to the study's start date, this date will be set to the start date of the study.
- Last Day: The date when participant's participation finishes and Ethica will stop all data collection.
- In Operation: What portion of time the participant's device was operational and was providing the data requested by the study. You can read more about this entry below.
- Survey Responses: The number of surveys which the participant has answered, has refused to answer (hence cancelled), or is expired. You can read more about surveys in the Surveys section.
When a participant joins a study using Ethica, the app will continuously run on their phone during the participation period, collecting the requested data. Ethica app also generates reports on its operation during this time. This operational report, in addition to diagnosis purposes, is also used to measure whether Ethica app was running on participant's device or not. For each given hour, if any report is available, it's an indication that the app was operating, otherwise it shows the app was not running.
The In Operation percentage takes the participation period for each participant, and calculates for what portion of this period the app was running and for what portion the app was not running, based on the available reports. The time window here starts from the Joined In date as the date the app was expected to start the data collection, and ends on the Last Day or today's date, whichever is the earliest.
In Operation column will not be shown if the study only captures survey responses, and no other data source. This is because in such cases, the app is not continuously running on participant's phone, and is only running when it has to prompt a survey.
Report per Device
You can expand the row for each participant by clicking on the + icon next to their participant ID. This will show all the devices this participant has used in this study, and how much and at what times the data was uploaded from each of these devices. The image below shows an example:
The data presented here are from the participant's Joined In date, to their Last Day or today, whichever is the earliest. The above image was taken on Dec. 12th 2016, so the data is from Nov. 9th 2015 to Dec. 12th 2016.
The first two columns show the ID and the model of the device used by the participant. For example, in the image above participant has used 9 devices during his participation: 3 of them were iPhones, while the other 6 devices were Android.
The last 4 columns show an event plot for the data upload. Depending on what data sources you have selected for your study, your page shows all or some of these columns. The length of the event plot presents the participation timeline, divided by hour, day, or week, depending on the length of the timeline. If the timeline is less than 7 days, it will be divided by hour. If the timeline is less than 7 weeks, it will be divided by days. Any timeline longer than 7 weeks will be divided by weeks. Moving the cursor across the event plot shows the time associated with that spot.
Each given spot on the event plot is either coloured or blank. If the spot is coloured, it indicates that the data was provided for that time. If the spot is blank, it shows participant did not provide any data during that time.
Extend Participant's Last Date
When a participant joins your study, Ethica uses the study period, participation duration, and the time the participant has joined to assign them a participation period. The participation period is shown in Adherence page under Joined In and Last Day columns.
Meanwhile under certain scenarios, you might want to change the participation period for a given participant. While the participant's start date is fixed and cannot be modified, you can change the participant's last day in the study. This change will be applied only to the selected participant, and will not modify the study settings. Any new participant joining in future still will receive the expected participation period.
To modify the last day for a given participant:
- Start by clicking on the menu at the end of their row in the Adherence page:
- From the menu that appears, select Extend last day.
- From the Extend last day dialog, select a new date as the last day for this participant.
- Press Extend to complete the process.
Updating Participant's Device
When a participant joins a study, their smartphone downloads a copy of all the settings related to the study. This allows the app to operate even if the participant is offline. If for any reason you decide to change the study settings, for example extending participant's last date, or changing the study definition, you are invalidating the settings of the study which participant's device has.
In this case, you have to update participant devices to ensure they have the latest version of the study. To do this:
- Click on the menu at the end of the participant's row in the Adherence page.
- Select Update Device.
This will update participant's device as soon as they become online, or right away if they are currently online.