Quantitative assessment of recruitment efforts for prevention trials in two diverse black populations

Prev Med. Nov-Dec 1998;27(6):838-45. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1998.0367.


Background: Prevention efforts to reduce the morbidity and mortality disparity between blacks and whites in the United States present a national health priority. However, participation of blacks in prevention trials has been low. The present study reports successful recruitment processes from two economically diverse black populations.

Methods: The two studies were independent projects, but both were part of a nationally funded collaboration on cardiovascular health. "Hip Hop to Health" is a 4-year randomized controlled trial aimed at dietary fat reduction and increased exercise among inner-city black families. The Fat Reduction Intervention Trial in African-Americans project is a 5-year trial to reduce total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake among black families from a working class community.

Results: The two populations differed on demographic characteristics. Direct presentation was the most effective recruitment strategy in the "Hip Hop to Health" program. In contrast, telephone recruitment and neighborhood canvassing were the more successful strategies for FRITAA.

Conclusions: Although both populations were black and at comparable cardiovascular disease risk, the differing demographics between the groups made different recruitment strategies necessary. This study documented the labor-intensive quality of successful recruitment, and results suggest that successful recruitment requires strategies tailored to the needs, experiences, and environment of the target group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Chicago
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection*
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / psychology*
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Health