Recruitment and baseline characteristics of the Community of Voices choir study to promote the health and well-being of diverse older adults

Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2017 Dec:8:106-113. doi: 10.1016/j.conctc.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Sep 17.


Objective: To describe the recruitment and baseline results of the Community of Voices study that aims to examine the effect of a community choir intervention on the health and well-being of older adults from diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Method: Using community-based participatory research methods, we recruited adults age 60 and over from 12 Administration on Aging-supported senior centers in San Francisco into a 2-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial of the community choir intervention. Multiple outreach methods were used. We tracked outreach, screening, and recruitment metrics and collected demographics and baseline outcomes via community-based, interviewer-administered surveys and performance measures of cognition, physical function, and psychosocial variables.

Results: The study contacted 819 individuals, screened 636, and enrolled 390 diverse older adults over a 42-month, phased recruitment period. The mean age was 71.2 (SD = 7.3), and the majority were women. Two-thirds of the sample are non-white, and 20% of participants reported having financial hardship.

Discussion: Outreach and recruitment methods used in the Community of Voices trial facilitated enrollment of a large proportion of minority and lower-SES older adults in the final sample. Similar recruitment approaches could serve as a model for recruiting diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic older adults into research.

Keywords: Community-based participatory research; Health disparities; Music; Older adults; Psychometrics; Recruitment.