Recruitment and Retention Techniques for Developing Faith-Based Research Partnerships, New York City, 2009–2012
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 10.
Faith-based organizations are recognized as an influential venue for behavioral health interventions. However, less is known about efficient approaches for identifying and recruiting these organizations and about the processes that enable successful partnership.
In 2007, 66% of Latinos and 70% of blacks in New York City reported being overweight or obese. Project SCALE (Small Changes and Lasting Effects) is a 5-year randomized behavioral weight loss intervention trial aimed to help black and Latino adults lose weight by making small changes in eating behaviors and daily leisure physical activity. The study partnered with faith-based organizations.
Faith-based organizations were identified primarily through direct referrals. Recruitment consisted of screening faith-based organizations, establishing a memorandum of understanding, and intervention modification. Partnership maintenance occurred primarily via progress meetings.
We identified processes that supported and impeded study recruitment and retention. Obtaining leadership support and using group orientation sessions were successful recruitment and retention processes. A balance must be found between leadership, advocacy, and causing members to feel pressured to participate in the study.
Behavioral health interventions implemented in faith-based organizations can reduce health disparities. However, researchers must determine whether faith-based organizations have the capacity to partner in intensive interventions. Focusing on the establishment of strong partnerships at the onset will help ensure that mutual objectives are achieved and sustained long-term.
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