Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder predominantly affecting people of African descent and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. To improve SCD outcomes, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute funded eight centers to participate in the SCD Implementation Consortium. Sites were required to each recruit 300 individuals with SCD, over 20 months. We aim to describe recruitment strategies and challenges encountered. Participants aged 15-45 years with confirmed diagnosis of SCD were eligible. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the effectiveness of each recruitment strategy. A total of 2432 participants were recruited. Majority (95.3%) were African American. Successful strategies were recruitment from clinics (68.1%) and affiliated sites (15.6%). Recruitment at community events, emergency departments and pain centers had the lowest yield. Challenges included saturation of strategies and time constraints. Effective recruitment of participants in multi-site studies requires multiple strategies to achieve adequate sample sizes.
Keywords: Barriers; Minority populations; Multi-site studies; Recruitment; Sickle cell disease.