A pragmatic examination of active and passive recruitment methods to improve the reach of community lifestyle programs: The Talking Health Trial

Paul Estabrooks, Wen You, Valisa Hedrick, Margaret Reinholt, Erin Dohm, Jamie Zoellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A primary challenge for behavior change strategies is ensuring that interventions can be effective while also attracting a broad and representative sample of the target population. The purpose of this case-study was to report on (1) the reach of a randomized controlled trial targeting reduced sugary beverages, (2) potential participant characteristic differences based on active versus passive recruitment strategies, and (3) recruitment strategy cost. Methods: Demographic and recruitment information was obtained for 8 counties and for individuals screened for participation. Personnel activities and time were tracked. Costs were calculated and compared by active versus passive recruitment. Results: Six-hundred and twenty, of 1,056 screened, individuals were eligible and 301enrolled (77% women; 90% white; mean income $21,981 ± 16,443). Eighty-two and 44% of those responding to passive and active methods, respectively, enrolled in the trial. However, active recruitment strategies yielded considerably more enrolled (active = 199; passive = 102) individuals. Passive recruitment strategies yielded a less representative sample in terms of gender (more women), education (higher), and income (higher; p's <0.05). The average cost of an actively recruited and enrolled participant was $278 compared to $117 for a passively recruited and enrolled participant. Conclusions: Though passive recruitment is more cost efficient it may reduce the reach of sugary drink reduction strategies in lower educated and economic residents in rural communities. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov; ID: NCT02193009, July 2014, retrospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 19 2017

Keywords

  • Behavioral research
  • Beverages
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Reach
  • Representativeness
  • Rural population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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