216167 Respondent Driven Sampling: Successful Recruitment for an Urban Aboriginal Health Assessment

Monday, November 8, 2010

Janet K. Smylie, MD MPH , Centre for Research on Inner City Health, University of Toronto/St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
Michelle Firestone, MHS , Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Sylvia Maracle , Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, Toronto, ON, Canada
Donna Lyons , Métis Nation of Ontario, Director of Health Services, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Connie Siedule , Tungasuvvingat Inuit, Director of Health, Ottawa, Canada
Cora Lee McQuire , Executive Director, Ontario Native Women's Association, Thunderbay, ON, Canada
De dwa da dehs nye>S. Aboriginal Health Centre , Aboriginal Health Centre, De dwa da dehs nye>s, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Cyprian Wejnert, PhD , Department of Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Rosane Nisenbaum, PhD , Centre for Research on Inner City Health in the Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
Patricia O'Campo, PhD , Centre for Research on Inner City Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Cheryl Mcpherson, MSW , Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
Conrad Prince, BA , Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
Purpose: Population based health information on urban Aboriginal populations in Ontario is limited due to problems with the identification of Aboriginal persons in existing health datasets. Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) is a modified chain-referral sampling approach that is increasingly used to recruit participants from hard to reach populations. By implementing RDS, the Our Health Counts project aims to generate a representative sample of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis adults and children living in Hamilton and Ottawa, Ontario.

Methods: First Nations, Métis and Inuit adults residing in Hamilton and Ottawa were recruited using RDS. A diverse group of “seeds” were given three uniquely coded coupons and encouraged to refer eligible individuals in their community. Participants completed a health assessment survey and provided consent for their health insurance number to be used in a linkage with a provincial health database.

Results: We aim to recruit a total of 500 adults and 500 children for each of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. Preliminary results are very promising. After only 9 weeks of recruitment in Hamilton, over 900 coupons have been distributed and 172 adult and 71 child surveys have been completed. Referral chains are as long as 7 people, suggesting that the final sample will be independent from the original seeds with respect to key characteristics and behaviors.

Conclusions: RDS is a promising recruitment method for Indigenous populations in situations where there is no existing sampling frame as it builds upon existing social networks and is community driven.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the cultural relevance and appropriateness of Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) among Indigenous populations. 2. Articulate the process of RDS in a community-based research setting. 3. Discuss the preliminary success of this methodology and its implications for program planning and policy development in urban Aboriginal health in Canada.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because of my expertise in Indigenous health measurement systems, Indigenous Knowledge Translation, Community Based Research with Aboriginal Communities and Family Medicine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.