Recruitment and retention of WIC participants in a longitudinal dietary intervention trial.
ABSTRACT: Background:This paper describes strategies and outcomes of techniques to recruit and retain low-income women served by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a longitudinal dietary intervention trial. Methods:Community engagement strategies, methods to recruit and retain participants, and recruitment and retention rates are reported. Demographic and lifestyle predictors of loss to follow-up, contacts required to reach participants at each data collection point, participant reactions to the recruitment and retention strategies used, and reasons for drop out (assessed among those who discontinued their study involvement) also were examined. Results:Of 1281 eligible women, 744 were enrolled (58% recruitment rate); retention rates were 87%, 70%, and 55%, respectively, 2 weeks and 3 and 6 months post-intervention. Being unmarried, younger, and having low baseline vegetable intake predicted loss to follow-up. Between 4 and 5 contact attempts and 1 and 2 completed contacts were required to reach participants at each data collection point. Participants endorsed recruiting women while waiting for WIC appointments (as they were accessible, perceived the information provided as informative, and wanted to pass the time) and by word of mouth. Lacking time and loss of interest were commonly reported reasons for not completing assessments and dropout. To improve retention, shortening telephone assessments, conducting the assessments in person, and increasing the amount of incentives were recommended. Conclusion:Despite using recommended strategies, recruitment and retention rates were modest. Research is needed to identify and test approaches to effectively engage WIC-enrolled adults in health intervention trials.
Project description:Public health stakeholder engagement is integral to developing effective public health interventions. The perspectives of women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have often been sought when designing WIC-based interventions; however, the perspectives of WIC providers are underrepresented. The goal of this investigation was to explore the experiences of WIC providers who counsel adolescent clients and to identify strategies for recruitment, retention, and engagement of adolescents in an antenatal exercise intervention. Qualitative interviews were conducted with WIC providers (N = 9) in the Mississippi Delta, a rural, predominantly African American region in northwest Mississippi. From our data emerged 4 themes and 4 hypothesized strategies for recruitment, retention, and engagement of adolescent WIC clients and their parents in a future antenatal exercise intervention that will be implemented through WIC. Engaging the perspectives of WIC providers was a critical first step in understanding the context for this intervention.
Project description:Obesity and hypertension and their associated health complications disproportionately affect communities of color and people of lower socioeconomic status. Recruitment and retention of these populations in research trials, and retention in weight loss trials has been an ongoing challenge.Be Fit, Be Well was a pragmatic randomized weight loss and hypertension management trial of patients attending one of three community health centers in Boston, Massachusetts. Participants were asked to complete follow-up assessments every 6-months for two years. We describe challenges encountered and strategies implemented to recruit and retain trial participants over the 24-month intervention. We also identify baseline participant characteristics associated with retention status. Retention strategies included financial incentives, contact between assessment visits, building relationships with health center primary care providers (PCPs) and staff, and putting participant convenience first.Active refusal rates were low with 130 of 2,631 patients refusing participation (4.9%). Of 474 eligible persons completing telephone screening, 365 (77.0%) completed their baseline visit and were randomized into the study. The study population was predominantly non-Hispanic Black (71.2%), female (68.5%) and reported annual household income of less than $35,000 (70.1%). Recruitment strategies included use of passive approval of potential participants by PCPs, use of part-time staff, and outsourcing calls to a call center. A total of 314 (86.0%) people completed the 24-month visit. Retention levels varied across study visits and intervention condition. Most participants completed three or more visits (69.6%), with 205 (56.2%) completing all four. At 24-months, lower retention was observed for males and the intervention condition. Retention strategies included building strong relationships with clinic staff, flexibility in overcoming participant barriers through use of taxi vouchers, night and weekend appointments, and keeping participants engaged via newsletters and social gatherings.We were able to retain 86.0% of participants at 24-months. Recruitment and retention of high percentages of racial/ethnic minorities and lower income samples is possible with planning, coordination with a trusted community setting and staff (e.g. community health centers and RAs), adaptability and building strong relationships.Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00661817.
Project description:BACKGROUND:High postpartum weight retention is a strong independent risk factor for lifetime obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes in women. Interventions to promote postpartum weight loss have met with some success but have been limited by high attrition. Internet-based treatment has the potential to overcome this barrier and reduce postpartum weight retention, but no study has evaluated the effects of an internet-based program to prevent high postpartum weight retention in women. METHODS/DESIGN:Fit Moms/Mamás Activas targets recruitment of 12 Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program clinics with a total of 408 adult (>18 years), postpartum (<1 year) women with 14.5 kg or more weight retention or a body mass index of 25.0 kg/m(2) or higher. Clinics are matched on size and randomly assigned within county to either a 12-month standard WIC intervention or to a 12-month WIC enhanced plus internet-based weight loss intervention. The intervention includes: monthly face-to-face group sessions; access to a website with weekly lessons, a web diary, instructional videos, and computer-tailored feedback; four weekly text messages; and brief reinforcement from WIC counselors. Participants are assessed at baseline, six months, and 12 months. The primary outcome is weight loss over six and 12 months; secondary outcomes include diet and physical activity behaviors, and psychosocial measures. DISCUSSION:Fit Moms/Mamás Activas is the first study to empirically examine the effects of an internet-based treatment program, coupled with monthly group contact at the WIC program, designed to prevent sustained postpartum weight retention in low-income women at high risk for weight gain, obesity, and related comorbidities. TRIAL REGISTRATION:This trial was registered with Clinicaltrials.gov (identifier: NCT01408147 ) on 29 July 2011.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Women and families experiencing socioeconomic and psychosocial adversity are the least likely to access health care but most likely to benefit. For health services to effectively meet the needs of individuals experiencing adversity, research involving the health services must be truly representative. However, individuals experiencing adversity are typically excluded from or underrepresented in health services research. This paper reports on the implementation of a quality improvement approach designed to support recruitment and retention of pregnant women experiencing adversity in a longitudinal, health services randomized controlled trial ("right@home"). METHODS:right@home recruited Australian women from 10 public maternity hospitals across the states of Victoria and Tasmania who were experiencing adversity (?2 risk factors on screening survey). Regular follow-up assessments were conducted by phone or face-to-face to child age 2?years. Research processes were designed taking heed of previous research demonstrating effective strategies for recruiting and retaining minority groups (e.g. piloting the recruitment process; recruiting via the health service providing care to the subgroup; remunerating participants); however, we were concerned that important information was missing. Therefore, once recruitment began, we conducted a continuous evaluation of the research processes, testing and implementing changes to processes or new strategies to maximize recruitment and retention (e.g. using a suite of strategies to maintain contact with families, using flexible data collection methods, obtaining consent for data linkage for future health and education data). RESULTS:right@home enrolled a large cohort of women (N?=?722) experiencing high levels of adversity according to socioeconomic status and psychosocial risk factors, and achieved excellent retention (83% completion at 2?years). Most strategies appeared to increase recruitment and retention. All required additional time from the research team to develop and test, and some required extra funding, which ranged from minor (e.g. printing) to substantial (e.g. salaries, remuneration). CONCLUSIONS:By taking a quality improvement approach, supported by sufficient resourcing and flexible research processes, it is possible to recruit and retain a large cohort of women experiencing adversity who are typically missed or lost from longitudinal research.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In the United States, there are lower rates of breastfeeding among African American mothers, particularly those who are younger women. Recent epidemiological studies have shown a strong association of more aggressive types of breast cancer (estrogen receptor negative) among African American women, with a higher risk in African American women who did not breastfeed their children. OBJECTIVE:This study aims to describe the process evaluation of recruitment and educational strategies to engage pregnant African American participants for a pilot study designed to determine whether social media messaging about breast cancer risk reduction through breastfeeding may positively influence breastfeeding rates. METHODS:This pilot study is conducted in collaboration with a local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) organization and hospital and prenatal clinics of a local health care network. To engage African American women to enroll in the study, several methods and monitoring processes were explored, including WIC electronic text-based messages sent out to all phones of current WIC recipients (referred to as e-blasts); keyword responses to texts from flyers and posters in local community-based organizations, hospitals, and prenatal clinics; keyword responses using electronic links posted in established Facebook groups; and snowball recruitment of other pregnant women by current participants through Facebook. Once enrolled, participants were randomized to 2 study conditions: (1) an intervention group receiving messages about breast cancer risk reduction and breastfeeding or (2) a control group receiving breastfeeding-only messages. Data were obtained through electronic monitoring, SurveyMonkey, qualitative responses on Facebook, focus groups, and interviews. RESULTS:More than 3000 text messages were sent and received through WIC e-blasts and keyword responses from flyers. A total of 472 women were recruited through WIC e-blast, and 161 responded to flyers and contacts through the local health care network, community-based organizations, Facebook, and friend referrals. A total of 633 women were assessed for eligibility to participate in the study. A total of 288 pregnant African American women were enrolled, consented, and completed presurvey assessments (102.8% of the goal), and 22 participants attended focus groups or interviews reporting on their experiences with Facebook and the educational messages. CONCLUSIONS:This process evaluation suggests that using electronic, smartphone apps with social media holds promise for both recruitment and conduct of health education intervention studies for pregnant African American women. Providing messaging and resources through social media to reinforce and educate women about breastfeeding and potentially provide lactation support is intriguing. Convenience (for researchers and participants) is an attribute of social media for this demographic of women and worthy of further research as an educational tool. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03680235; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03680235.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Although the majority of American Indians/Alaska Natives reside in urban areas, there are very few randomized controlled trials analyzing culturally centered substance use prevention interventions for this population.<h4>Methods</h4>We describe methods employed to recruit and retain urban American Indian/Alaska Native adolescents into a randomized controlled trial, which was focused on testing the potential benefits of a substance use prevention intervention for this population. We also report challenges encountered in recruitment and retention of participants and strategies employed addressing these challenges. Data collection occurred from August 2014 to October 2017.<h4>Results</h4>We partnered with two community-based organizations in different cities in California. We utilized American Indian/Alaska Native recruiters from communities, placed flyers in community-based organizations, and asked organizations to post flyers on their web and social media sites. We also offered gift cards for participants. Our initial recruitment and retention model was moderately successful; however, we encountered five main challenges: (1) transportation, (2) increasing trust and interest, (3) adding research sites, (4) getting the word out about the project, and (5) getting youth to complete follow-up surveys. Strategies employed to overcome transportation challenges included shortening the number of sessions, offering sessions on both weekends and weekdays, and increasing bus tokens and transportation options. We hired more staff from American Indian/Alaska Native communities, added more research sites from our previously established relationships, and were more proactive in getting the word out on the project in American Indian/Alaska Native communities. We also utilized more field tracking and emailed and mailed survey invitations to reach more participants for their follow-up surveys. Because of our efforts, we were nearly able to reach our initial recruitment and retention goals.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Although our research team had previously established relationships with various urban American Indian/Alaska Native communities, we encountered various recruitment and retention challenges in our study. However, by identifying challenges and employing culturally appropriate strategies, we were able to collect valuable data on the potential effectiveness of a substance use prevention intervention for urban American Indian/Alaska Native adolescents. Findings from this study assist toward the development of potentially successful strategies to successfully recruit and retain urban American Indian/Alaska Native adolescents in randomized controlled trials.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Recruiting participants for research studies can be challenging. Many studies fall short of their target or must prolong recruitment to reach it. We examined recruitment and retention strategies and report lessons learned in a behavioral intervention developmental trial to encourage healthy pregnancy weight gain and stress reduction in low-income overweight pregnant women.<h4>Methods</h4>In the San Francisco Bay area from February 2010 through March 2011, we used direct and indirect strategies to recruit English-speaking overweight and obese pregnant women who were aged 18 to 45, were in the early stages of pregnancy, and who had an annual household income less than 500% of the federal poverty guidelines. Eligible women who consented participated in focus groups or an 8-week behavioral intervention. We identified successful recruiting strategies and sites and calculated the percentage of women who were enrolled and retained.<h4>Results</h4>Of 127 women screened for focus group participation, 69 were eligible and enrolled. A total of 57 women participated in 9 focus groups and 3 women completed individual interviews for a completion rate of 87%. During recruitment for the intervention, we made contact with 204 women; 135 were screened, 33% were eligible, and 69.1% of eligible women enrolled. At 1 month postpartum, 82.6% of eligible women completed an assessment. Recruiting at hospital-based prenatal clinics was the highest-yielding strategy.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The narrow window of eligibility for enrolling early stage pregnant women in a group intervention presents obstacles. In-person recruitment was the most successful strategy; establishing close relationships with providers, clinic staff, social service providers, and study participants was essential to successful recruitment and retention.
Project description:Racial/ethnic minority patients are often underrepresented in clinical trials. Efforts to address barriers to participation may improve representation, thus enhancing our understanding of how research findings apply to more diverse populations.The IDEAS (Information, Description, Education, Assistance, and Support) for a Healthy Baby study was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of an intervention to reduce barriers to using publicly reported quality data for low-income, racial/ethnic minority women. We used strategies grounded in a health equity framework to address barriers to recruitment and retention in three domains: preparation, process, and patient-centeredness. "Preparation" included teaching study staff about health inequities, role-playing skills to develop rapport and trust, and partnering with clinic staff. "Processes" included use of electronic registration systems to pre-screen potential candidates and determine when eligible participants were in clinic and an electronic database to track patients through the study. Use of a flexible protocol, stipends, and consideration of literacy levels promoted "patient-centeredness."We anticipated needing to recruit 800 women over 18 months to achieve a completion goal of 650. Using the recruitment and retention strategies outlined above, we recruited 746 women in 15 months, achieving higher recruitment (87.1 %) and retention rates (97.3 %) than we had anticipated.These successful recruitment and retention strategies used for a large RCT promoted inclusivity and accessibility. Researchers seeking to recruit racial and ethnic minority pregnant women in similar settings may find the preparation, process, and patient-centered strategies used in this study applicable for their own studies.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01784575 , 1R21HS021864-01.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Less than one-third of women gain an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy, which can influence the long-term health of both the mother and the child. Economically disadvantaged women are the most vulnerable to maternal obesity, excessive weight gain during pregnancy, and poor birth outcomes. Effective and scalable health care strategies to promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy specifically tailored for these women are lacking. OBJECTIVE:This paper presents the design and protocol of a biphasic, community-based eHealth trial, SmartMoms in WIC, to increase the adherence to healthy gestational weight gain (GWG) recommendations in low-income mothers receiving women, infant, and children (WIC) benefits. METHODS:Phase 1 of the trial included using feedback from WIC mothers and staff and participants from 2 community peer advisory groups to adapt an existing eHealth gestational weight management intervention to meet the needs of women receiving WIC benefits. The health curriculum, the format of delivery, and incentive strategies were adapted to be culturally relevant and at an appropriate level of health literacy. Phase 2 included a pragmatic randomized controlled trial across the 9 health care regions in Louisiana with the goal of enrolling 432 women. The SmartMoms in WIC intervention is an intensive 24-week behavioral intervention, which includes nutrition education and exercise strategies, and provides the technology to assist with weight management, delivered through a professionally produced website application. RESULTS:Phase 1 of this trial was completed in July 2019, and recruitment for phase 2 began immediately thereafter. All data are anticipated to be collected by Spring 2023. CONCLUSIONS:The SmartMoms in WIC curriculum was methodically developed using feedback from community-based peer advisory groups to create a culturally relevant, mobile behavioral intervention for mothers receiving WIC benefits. The randomized clinical trial is underway to test the effectiveness of a sustainable eHealth program on the incidence rates of appropriate GWG. SmartMoms in WIC may be able to offer an innovative, cost-effective, and scalable solution for GWG management in women served by WIC. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04028843; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04028843. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):DERR1-10.2196/18211.
Project description:This study explores the recruitment and retention strategies used by community health workers who enrolled Korean Americans in a church-based, randomized trial to promote mammogram and Papanicolaou tests and retained them for 6 months. We conducted 4 focus groups with 23 community health workers. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis. Themes were identified in relation to recruitment: personal networks, formal networks at churches, building on trust and respect, and facilitating a nonthreatening environment. Themes were identified for retention: trust and peer support. Qualified, well-trained community health workers can recruit and retain hard-to-reach immigrant women in a randomized trial by using multiple culturally sensitive strategies.