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Gerontologist. 2011 Jun;51 Suppl 1:S73-81. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnr001.

Recruitment and retention strategies among older African American women enrolled in an exercise study at a PACE program.

Author information

  • 1Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-4217, USA. marx@nursing.upenn.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study examined employment of specific recruitment and retention strategies in a study evaluating outcomes of a moderate activity exercise program for older African American women with functional impairments attending a Program for All-Inclusive Care of Elders (PACE).

DESIGN AND METHODS:

Recruitment and retention strategies focused on (1) partnership between researchers and participants, (2) partnership between researchers and clinicians, (3) overcoming administrative issues, and (4) reducing burden on clinicians and participants. The exercise protocol consisted of strength and endurance activity 2 to 3 times per week for 16 weeks.

RESULTS:

Fifty-two African American women (61.2% of target) were enrolled and 37 (71.2%) completed the 16-week exercise program. Fifteen did not complete due to non-descript reasons and/or preference for other program activities (n = 11), medical problems (n = 2), or need for physical therapy (n = 2).

IMPLICATIONS:

Success in recruitment and retention included use of a PACE program, hiring an advanced practice nurse to improve retention, and integration with site activities and sustaining the exercise program at the site. Challenges for recruitment and retention remain to engage older, frail adults in exercise as a life habit, and availability of time and place to do so.

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