January 31, 2017 by Nadia E. Browne
The recruitment of families (youth + parents) at our Pediatric Centre for Weight and Health in Edmonton has been rather slow this month. For this reason, in our recent monthly team updates for the RMI-Family, we highlighted that our main goal going forward with the pilot phase of our study will be to eliminate recruitment and retention barriers.
In a previous blog post “It’s a New Dawn…A New Day,” I blogged about the number of families we plan to enroll for our pilot study, and the importance of this phase of our research. To help us achieve our desired sample size, we will be employing recruitment and retention strategies highlighted by Schoeppe et al. (2014). The authors discussed several strategies to recruit, engage and retain families into studies. Highlighted are 10 of the strategies (those currently employed in our pilot study):
- Create interest in the study among families
- Provide incentives/rewards to families for study participation
- Include a fun component for children in the study implementation/data collection
- Identify suitable recruitment tools
- Explain the purpose, requirements, and benefits of study participation to families
- Create study identity
- Ensure a correct and optimal consent process
- Use extensive follow-up procedures
- Find optimal ways to communicate with families
- Take family-related characteristics into account
There are other strategies which we can add to our pilot study to recruit, engage and retain families. The RMI-Family study has several measures. Maybe we can consider limiting the number of study measures and minimise participant burden. Or even consider our hours of recruitment. Perhaps families would like to get to know our researchers more. If so, we can attempt to invest more time in developing relationships with youth and their parents.
As we continue to enroll families into our pilot study, we will carefully consider all the strategies mentioned by Schoeppe et al. (2014).