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Recruitment and retention of children in behavioral health risk factor studies : REACH strategies

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Stephanie Schoeppe, M Oliver, H Badland, M Burke, Mitchell Duncan
Background: Children are a common target group in behavioural health research. Yet their recruitment into community setting studies poses challenges to researchers and little guidance exists on recruitment and retention methods. Purpose: This study aims to present successful strategies for the recruitment and retention of children into behavioural health risk factor studies. Method: Firstly, a literature search in various databases was undertaken for papers published 1990–2012, focusing on recruitment and retention methods used in community-based studies with children aged 3–18 years. Secondly, a Delphi study was conducted in 2012 with 27 international experts in the fields of child-related behavioral health risk factors to gather expertise and consensus on successful recruitment and retention strategies applicable in children. Results: The literature review and Delphi study yielded a set of successful child recruitment and retention strategies, and examples for implementation. These are presented as strategies to Recruit, Engage and retAin Children in behavioral Health risk factor studies (REACH). Recognized strategies for successful recruitment and retention included building trustful relationships between researchers and study partners, parents, and children; having project champions; optimizing consent and follow-up procedures; offering incentives to study partners, children, and parents; minimizing participant burden; and designing feasible studies with cohesive research teams. Conclusion: Using multiple REACH strategies is most promising for maximizing response rates and minimizing attrition of children in cross-sectional, longitudinal, and behavioural intervention studies in community settings such as schools, child care centers, and other youth-related organizations. Researchers can select the most suitable strategies based on their specific study design and requirements.

Funding

Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)

History

Volume

21

Issue

5

Start Page

794

End Page

803

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1532-7558

ISSN

1070-5503

Location

United States

Publisher

Springer

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Auckland University of Technology; Griffith University; Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR); TBA Research Institute; University of Melbourne;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

International journal of behavioral medicine.

Exports

CQUniversity

Exports