Planning for Recruitment and Retention

The following are eight recommendations for developing an effective recruitment and retention plan. These recommendations are summarized in Table 10.1.

TABLE 10.1 Summary of Recommendations for Developing an Effective Recruitment and Retention Plan



1. Conduct an analysis of the environment, target population, and the intervention

  • ? Identify the prevalence rates of the target population in the catchment area
  • ? Identify the characteristics of the target population (e.g., living arrangements, literacy, distance from intervention site)
  • ? Conduct an analysis of the intervention (e.g., inclu- sion/exclusion criteria; study participation requirements—number of sessions, location)

2. Establish a recruitment timeline and identify recruitment staff

  • ? Develop a timeline for target enrollment (Figure 10.1)
  • ? Identify recruitment personnel
  • ? Clearly identify the roles and responsibilities

with respect to recruitment/retention among project team members

3. Develop a recruitment and retention database

  • ? Database should include information regarding
  • ? Source of recruitment (e.g., newspaper ad)
  • ? Reasons for ineligibility
  • ? Reasons for lack of interest
  • ? Dropout date
  • ? Reason for dropout

4. Adopt a community-based participatory approach for recruitment and retention

  • ? Identify community members and key stakeholders in organizations to help with the recruitment process
  • ? Obtain advice from community members on sources of recruitment and strategies for recruitment
  • ? Actively involve community members in recruitment efforts

5. Establish a Community Advisory Board (CAB)

  • ? The CAB should involve a variety of community stakeholders
  • ? Establish project "buy-in" from the CAB
  • ? Outline clear objectives for the CAB and mechanisms for involvement
  • ? Establish a timeline for meetings and a convenient meeting venue

TABLE 10.1 Summary of Recommendations for Developing an Effective Recruitment and Retention Plan (Continued)



6. Build trust with the commu- nity/target population

  • ? Identify a variety of methods for communicating with the community
  • ? Clearly express the goals, importance, and any benefits associated with the study
  • ? Clearly express the importance of community participation
  • ? Train study team members in communication skills and recruitment strategies
  • ? Schedule regular meetings on topics related to recruitment/retention

7. Minimize potential inconveniences associated with study participation

  • ? Be flexible with respect to study scheduling and location of participation
  • ? Provide compensation for transportation
  • ? Provide tokens of appreciation
  • ? Be understanding of participant constraints and attempt to accommodate

8. Pilot test recruitment materials

  • ? Review materials with CAB and other members of the study team
  • ? Review materials with representative members of the target population
  • ? Obtain Institutional Review Board approval prior to pilot testing
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