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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Are follow-up phone calls an effective intervention for increasing response rates among Blacks?

La Shawnta S. Bell-Lewis, MPH1, R. Patti Herring, PhD, RN2, Terry Butler, PhD3, and Gary Fraser, MD, PhD3. (1) Department of Health Services, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA 90095, 323/514-4890, pherring@sph.llu.edu, (2) Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Nichol Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92350, (3) Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Evans Hall, Room 203, Loma Linda, CA 92350

Blacks experience a disproportionately higher burden of morbidity and mortality from various diseases and cancer, which may be largely due to socioeconomic factors and because they are under represented in medical/scientific research studies. This leads to a lack of understanding of factors contributing to inequalities in health and a deficiency in culturally relevant interventions to narrow these differences. Blacks traditionally do not participate in research due to fear, distrust, historical abuses, a lack of perceived benefits, and various other social-cultural determinants. Another barrier to participation is researchers’ failure to recruit Blacks into studies. To improve enrollment in a large cohort study (125,000) assessing cancer risks, we sort to discover if follow-up phone calls is effective in increasing returns of a 2-hour questionnaire, among Adventist members in 40 Black California churches as compared to members in 39 White CA churches. The selected subjects were enrolled in the Adventist Health Study-2, but had not returned their questionnaires three months after promotion at their church. Separately for the White and Black congregations, we randomized churches to experimental and control groups, in a 2:1 ratio favoring intervention. Results indicate that follow-up phone calls produced a 3-fold incremental response rate among Black experimental churches relative to control. There is no evidence that this strategy produced additional responses for Whites. In fact, follow-up phone calls were nearly four times more effective in recruiting Blacks than Whites three months after promotion. We found that ethnic minorities are more receptive to recruitment strategies that maximize personal contact.

Learning Objectives:

  • By the end of the session, participants will be able to

    Keywords: African American, Challenges and Opportunities

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Social Epidemiology

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