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Health Educ Res. 2007 Jun;22(3):361-71. Epub 2006 Sep 8.

Recruitment and retention of Latinos in a primary care-based physical activity and diet trial: The Resources for Health study.

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Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4006, Australia.


Mandates to include women and minority populations in research have heightened the need to identify successful recruitment strategies. This paper describes the recruitment and retention strategies used as part of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a physical activity and dietary intervention targeting low-income, predominantly Latino patients in a primary health care clinic. Data on the recruitment and retention rates and the representativeness of participants are presented. Strategies included hiring bilingual staff, translating and culturally adapting intervention materials and soliciting ongoing consultation from patients, clinicians and organizations providing services to the Latino community. The primary recruitment procedure involved letters from physicians followed by phone calls from project staff to patients identified from electronic medical records. Two hundred patients were recruited into the RCT (78% of those reached and eligible), with 69 and 81% reached for the 6-week and 6-month follow-ups, respectively. Women were more likely to both participate and remain in the trial, and there was a trend toward greater recruitment and retention of Spanish speakers. By engaging the community, clinicians and patients, this study was able to successfully recruit and retain a large proportion of this often difficult to reach Latino sub-population of patients with multiple chronic conditions.

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