Enhancing recruitment and retention of minority young women in community-based clinical research

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2005 Dec;18(6):403-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2005.09.006.


Women are disproportionately affected by the sexually transmitted infections (STI) epidemic, with African-Americans and Latinos at significantly higher risk for STIs than Caucasians. Successful recruitment and retention strategies used with young minority women in community-based STI prevention or intervention research have not been previously reported. This communication presents eight key strategies learned in the recruitment and retention of 16- to 21-year-old urban women participating in a 12-month randomized clinical trial designed to promote STI screening to decrease the duration of untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea infection. Strategies learned include: (1) Educate clinic staff on the rigors of study design; (2) Facilitate a team effort between clinical and research staff; modify recruitment procedures, as needed; (3) Provide prospective participants the option of enrolling by return appointment; (4) Anticipate a diminishing recruitment pool over time; (5) Set positive recruitment tone at the beginning of each clinic session; (6) Consider participants' mothers as important points of contact; (7) Match communication styles to participant contacts; and (8) Consider a variety of retention techniques. Together, these strategies helped to reinforce participant's commitment to the project, facilitated their attendance at interviews, and encouraged them to adhere to the treatment protocol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomedical Research / standards*
  • Female
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards*
  • Research Design / standards
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Urban Population