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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Aug;14(8):676-83.

Recruiting Chinese Americans for dementia caregiver intervention research: suggestions for success.

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Older Adult and Family Center, VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine, 795 Willow Road (182C), Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare the relative effectiveness of three recruitment modalities for enrolling Chinese-American and white family caregivers into research studies to evaluate intervention strategies.


A total of 116 Chinese Americans and 134 whites were screened for eligibility to participate in one of two clinical intervention trials. Participants were recruited using: 1) media sources; 2) nonprofessional referral sources; or 3) professional referrals. Each participant was asked an open-ended question about how they became aware of the programs offered.


A smaller proportion of Chinese Americans (39%) than whites (50%) who responded to recruiting strategies actually enrolled as subjects. There was a significant interaction between ethnicity and recruitment strategy. Chinese-American caregivers who were recruited by nonprofessional sources were less likely to enroll in the intervention studies than those who were recruited through media sources or professional referrals. Whites, on the other hand, were more likely to be recruited through nonprofessional sources than the other two.


A consumer-oriented approach, which included direct face-to-face contact with key community leaders, generated the highest number of Chinese-American participants. Culture-specific factors such as trust-building with social service agencies, demonstrating genuine commitment to the well-being of the target community, and linguistic and ethnic matching between research staff and potential participants appear helpful to successful research recruitment in this rapidly increasing segment of dementia caregivers.

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