Recruitment in research can be challenging, particularly for racial/ethnic minorities and immigrants. There remains a dearth of research identifying the health and sociocultural needs of these populations related to recruitment. To describe our experiences and lessons learned in recruiting African immigrant (AI) women for the AfroPap study, a community-based study examining correlates of cervical cancer screening behaviors. We developed several recruitment strategies in collaboration with key informants and considered published recruitment methods proven effective in immigrant populations. We also evaluated the various recruitment strategies using recruitment records and study team meeting logs. We enrolled 167 AI women in the AfroPap study. We used the following recruitment strategies: (1) mobilizing African churches; (2) utilizing word of mouth through family and friends; (3) maximizing research team’s cultural competence and gender concordance; (4) promoting altruism through health education; (5) ensuring confidentiality through the consenting and data collection processes; and (6) providing options for data collection. Online recruitment via WhatsApp was an effective recruitment strategy because it built on existing information sharing norms within the community. Fear of confidentiality breaches and time constraints were the most common barriers to recruitment. We were successful in recruiting a “hard-to-reach” immigrant population in a study to understand the correlates of cervical cancer screening behaviors among AI women by using a variety of recruitment strategies. For future research involving African immigrants, using the internet and social media to recruit participants is a promising strategy to consider.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Community Health|
|State||Published - Oct 15 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is supported by a National Cancer Institute predoctoral training Grant (F31CA221096). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors. We would like to express our appreciation to The African Women?s Cancer Awareness Association who provided insight that greatly assisted this research.
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- African immigrants
- Cervical cancer
- Pap testing
- Recruitment strategies