Enhancing recruitment of healthy African American volunteers in a city with a small African American community: Results from a dietary supplement crossover trial

Cheryl A M Anderson, Shirley A A Beresford, Johanna Lampe, Robert H. Knopp, Arno G. Motulsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To describe strategies for enhancing recruitment of African Americans to a long-term intervention study requiring frequent blood draws and follow-up visits, in a city with relatively few African Americans. Design: The intervention study was a 14-month, double-blind, crossover study evaluating the effects of three oral folic acid doses on blood homocysteine levels. The goal was to have 40 African Americans complete the study, in addition to 160 participants from other races and ethnicities. Results: Of 707 healthy, adult men and women recruited, 57 were African Americans. Recruitment advice was sought from African American community leaders interested in health research and the advice can be attributable to the success of recruitment. As suggested by the community leaders, our female African American project manager made oral presentations to select community groups. Word-of-mouth support from community leaders and study participants helped recruitment. Although the adult Seattle population is 7.4% African American, the group completing the study comprised 15% African Americans. Retention in the dietary intervention was 74% (31 out of 42) among African Americans, 81% (158 out of 196) among non-African Americans - a statistically non-significant difference. Conclusions: Advice from African American community leaders about targeting appropriate civic/professional groups, churches, and community organizations can lead to effective recruitment of African Americans. Advice should be sought before beginning recruitment and endorsement for the study should be obtained. Effective retention of African American participants is possible for intervention studies requiring multiple blood draws and follow-up visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-559
Number of pages5
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Folic acid
  • Recruitment
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)

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