Recruitment and retention challenges and successes

Trina M. Aguirre, Ann E. Koehler, Ashish Joshi, Susan L. Wilhelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Addressing health disparities requires well designed, culturally adapted research. However, recruiting/retaining minority participants has often been challenging. We present strategies used to successfully recruit and retain rural Hispanic women during a breastfeeding education intervention. Design: This study involved a two-group repeated measures quasi-experimental design with assessments at seven intervals between enrollment and 6 months postpartum. Participants (Hispanic women ≥ 15 years old) were recruited through a regional hospital. Results: We successfully met our recruitment goals, most women contacted were enrolled (46 of 58), and 100% completed the study. Discussion: Research staff with ties within the community helped establish trust. Using bilingual study materials, simple language, and an interpreter addressed language/literacy concerns. Phone assessments facilitated participation as transportation was an issue. Accommodating requests to deliver or mail study materials and providing incentives were important. Extra effort was needed to maintain contact when phone service was disrupted or participants moved. Keys to success were persistence, flexibility, and alleviating barriers to participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • cultural adaptations
  • research challenges
  • rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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