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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2008 May;19(2):639-51. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0016.

The costs of recruitment and retention of women from community-based programs into a randomized controlled contraceptive study.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.



Assessing recruitment and retention activities needed to enroll women identified through community-based programs (such as the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program) into a randomized controlled clinical trial on nurse-delivered contraceptives in the home. The majority of women in this study had low socioeconomic status indicators and low levels of education, and the majority were young.


Recruitment sources and number of contact-attempts were collected and analyzed. Full time equivalents needed to undertake these activities were estimated.


Two hundred and forty five women were identified in recruiting and enrolling 103 study participants involving 1,232 contact-attempts. Self-referral had the highest ratio of referrals to enrollees (55.6%), while this ratio was the lowest for community outreach (33.3%). Retention activities succeeded in maintaining over 90% of the sample. Ninety-two percent of English-speaking participants completed the study versus 79% of Spanish-speaking participants. The time expenditure per enrollee was 10.4 hours for recruitment and 1.2 hours for retention, with an estimated cost per enrollee of $324.03 for recruitment and $39.14 for retention. More retention activities were required to maintain women in the comparison group than in the intervention group.

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