Addressing the Challenges behind Minority Recruitment: Traditional and Non-Traditional Recruitment Strategies in Community-Based Research
As discussed in Hewison and Haines(1), for much of the conduct of
research, recruitment remains a constant challenge. Furthermore,
recruitment of minorities presents unique obstacles. Overcoming these
obstacles is paramount to reduce disparities and adequately address the
goals of Healthy People 2010(2).
We have developed and successfully utilized a two-component multi-
faceted recruitment strategy for recruitment of minorities into two
research studies, Minority Women’s Heart Initiative and Innovations in
Reducing Stroke and Prostate Cancer in Minority Men. This recruitment
strategy includes traditional and nontraditional methods. Traditional
methods include print ads, cable television advertisements, radio
advertisements, flyers, mailings; and non-traditional methods include
health fairs, farmer’s markets, community fairs, State Health Improvement
Plan (SHIP) meetings, churches, community centers, significant informants,
and a community-based research registry.
Number of potential participants and geographical area captures
including measures of intended and actual participation, percent recruited
for studies via the various recruitment strategies, and percent of
participants at study sessions through both traditional and non-
traditional recruitment strategies were assessed. Our results show that
traditional recruitment strategies demand a greater number of contacts
with a greater amount of effort involved resulting in less participant
yield versus non-traditional recruitment strategies that include less
effort with less number of participant contacts to produce a greater
amount of participants. In conclusion, non-traditional recruitment
strategies are more time-efficient, but strategies that actively involve a
partnership with the community produce greater research participation.
(1)Hewison J, Haines A. Confidentiality and consent in medical
research: Overcoming barriers to recruitment in health research. BMJ.
2006; 333: 300-302.
(2)Healthy People 2010: http://www.health.gov/healthypeople
Competing interests: No competing interests