PurposeWe describe the recruitment strategies and personnel and materials costs associated with two community-based research studies in a Mexican-origin population. We also highlight the role that academic-community partnerships played in the outreach and recruitment process for our studies. We reviewed study documents using case study methodology to categorize recruitment methods, examine community partnerships, and calculate study costs.
ResultsWe employed several recruitment methods to identify and solicit 154 female caregivers for participation in qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys. Recruitment approaches included using flyers and word of mouth, attending health fairs, and partnering with nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) to sponsor targeted recruitment events. Face-to-face contact with community residents and partnerships with CBOs were most effective in enrolling caregivers into the studies. Almost 70% of participants attended a recruitment event sponsored or supported by CBOs. The least effective recruitment strategy was the use of flyers, which resulted in only 7 completed interviews or questionnaires. Time and costs related to carrying out the research varied by study, where personal interviews cost more on a per-participant basis ($1,081) than the questionnaires ($298). However, almost the same amount of time was spent in the community for both studies.
ImplicationsPartnerships with CBOs were critical for reaching the target enrollment for our studies. The relationship between the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Resource Center for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elderly and the Department of Aging provided the infrastructure for maintaining connections with academic-community partnerships. Nevertheless, building partnerships required time, effort, and resources for both researchers and local organizations.