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Innovation in recruitment and interview strategies for low-income minorities: The Neighborhood Voice mobile unit

John Rogers1, Matthew W. Kreuter, PhD, MPH1, Christopher Casey1, Nancy L. Weaver, MPH1, and Elena M Andresen, PhD2. (1) Health Communication Research Laboratory, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104, 3149774085, rogersjh@slu.edu, (2) Department of Community Health, Saint Louis University School of Public Health, 3663 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108

Involving low-income minority group members in formative and experimental communication research often requires overcoming significant barriers, like lack of time and transportation. For decades, churches and social service organizations have overcome these obstacles by providing outreach through mobile vehicles in neighborhood settings. This presentation describes how the Health Communication Research Laboratory at Saint Louis University is using the same approach to assure community participation in cancer prevention research. The Neighborhood Voice is a shuttle-type vehicle customized to comfortably accommodate either an 8-person focus group interview or two separate one-on-one interviews. It is being used to recruit study participants, administer surveys, conduct interviews, and administer and evaluate cancer communication videos and other educational materials. Using pictures, stories, and quantitative data obtained from exit interviews, this presentation will describe our experiences from the first year in the field with the Neighborhood Voice mobile unit. This promising approach can help avoid many research challenges including overcrowded homes and apartments, problems with equipment set-up and operation, and lack of standardized environments, while ensuring the safety of the staff and participants. It also increases the ability to, and likelihood of, obtaining a representative sample from the community by reducing selection bias inherent in venue-based recruiting. Public health educators can determine the feasibility of using this approach in their own health communication and disease prevention activities.

Learning Objectives: Participants in this session will be able to

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Research Assistant at the Health Communication Research Laboratory

Health Communication Research with Minority Populations

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA