Recruitment of Family Child Care Homes for an Obesity Prevention Intervention Study.
OBJECTIVE: Critical to the success of any intervention study is successful recruitment. The aim of this paper was to examine the recruitment process of a randomized controlled trial evaluating an intervention conducted with family child care home providers. Specifically, the recruitment challenges, the efforts employed to address the challenges, and their impact on participant recruitment are discussed. METHODS: The study's original recruitment protocol was employed during waves 1 and 2 (out of 5). However, recruitment tracking showed a failure to meet enrollment targets, particularly in wave 2. Low enrollment prompted an all-day retreat to discuss potential revisions and enhancements to recruitment strategies. Four strategies to enhance the recruitment protocol emerged from the retreat: improving recruitment materials to enhance communication, increasing engagement with community partners, addressing provider concerns about participation and study burden, and facilitating parent engagement. RESULTS: The study successfully recruited 166 family child care home providers across the 5 waves. There was a significant impact on the recruitment of waves 3-5 versus waves 1-2 using the enhanced recruitment protocol. There was a dramatic increase in those who "consented" (43% vs. 60%, respectively) and a corresponding decrease in the percent of "interested and eligible" who then "failed to consent" (57% vs. 40%, respectively). CONCLUSION: Results of these enhanced recruitment strategies demonstrate the many lessons learned about successful recruitment of a difficult-to-reach population, family child care homes; specifically, the importance of building relationships, communicating clearly, and identifying key motivators.
Ward, DS; Vaughn, AE; Burney, RV; Østbye, T
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