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Gerontologist. 1998 Jun;38(3):295-302.

Recruiting research participants: a comparison of the costs and effectiveness of five recruitment strategies.

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Myers Research Institute, Menorah Park Center for the Aging, Beachwood, OH, USA.


Among the major costs associated with conducting survey research are the time and money spent recruiting a large and racially representative sample. Contrasted here are the costs of different recruitment strategies (agencies, support groups, snowballs, media, mass mailings) in terms of project time, supplies (e.g., postage, support materials), and staff time as they bear on the costs of recruiting 841 older mothers of offspring with lifelong disabilities. Results indicate that the costs of recruitment vary by method and race. Whereas agencies, support groups, and snowball recruitment were low- to moderate-cost strategies, they were less effective for recruiting African Americans than were media and demographic sampling unit strategies. These analyses suggest that with appropriate planning, funding, and implementation, nonprobability sampling methods can be used successfully to recruit a large and diverse sample. Suggestions for improving the implementation of future recruitment campaigns are also offered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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