Objective: To describe strategies to recruit and support members from hard-to-reach groups on research-focused Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs).
Background: Ensuring diverse representation of members of research PFACs is challenging, and few studies have given attention to addressing this problem.
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using 8 focus groups and 19 interviews with 80 PFAC members and leaders, hospital leaders, and researchers.
Results: Recruitment recommendations were: 1) utilizing existing networks; 2) going out to the community; 3) accessing outpatient clinics; and 4) using social media. Strategies to support inclusion were: 1) culturally appropriate communication methods; 2) building a sense of community between PFAC members; 3) equalizing roles between community members/leaders; 4) having a diverse PFAC leadership team; and 5) setting transparent expectations for PFAC membership.
Conclusion: Increasing the diversity of research PFACs is a priority, and it is important to determine how best to engage groups that have been traditionally underrepresented.