236959 Enrollment of Minorities into Health Research: A Meta-Analysis of Recruitment Methods

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Susan Fagan, MA , Communication Department, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
Christine Unson, PhD , Department of Public Health, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
C. Ben Tyson, PhD , Communication Department, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
Purpose: The study's aim is to identify the relative effectiveness of methods utilized by U.S. research studies to recruit minority adults. The studies were conducted between 1994, when the NIH policy guidelines on inclusion of minorities in clinical trials were issued, and 2007.

Method: A meta-analysis of studies that enrolled race/ethnic minorities was conducted. We searched PUBMED, CINAHL, Psycinfo for original studies using terms that included recruitment, research, clinical trials, minorities, eight race/ethnic groups, 11 recruitment methods. We manually searched journals (n=6) that yielded at least five articles. The number individuals contacted and enrolled by recruitment method, race/ethnicity and sex, study duration (months), type of study (survey vs. clinical trials) were collected. The Comprehensive Meta-analysis program (random effects model) was used.

Results: Seventy-one studies with 221,762 enrollees out of 782,202 contacts were analyzed. Of these, 58% , 17.1%, 7.1%, 5.7% involved only African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans, respectively; 11.4% enrolled multiple racial/ethnic groups. Women made up 57.1% of total enrollees. Forty-seven of the studies required the subject to only complete a questionnaire. The remaining 24 studies had an average duration of 25 months. An overall enrollment rate was not significant. Of the seven methods, face-to-face (78% enrollment rate), telephone (64%), media (29%) and direct mail (28%) were significant. Unlike race/ethnicity and sex, study duration and study type were significant (negative) moderators of enrollment rates.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that personal contact methods are most effective in recruiting minorities into health research and that participation burden negatively affects enrollment rates.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To differentiate the effects of communication channels used to recruit minorities into research

Keywords: Communication Effects, Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the major adviser for the study. I have a PhD in Communication Sciences. I have had training in meta-analysis. I have about 5 years experience in recruiting minorities to clinical trials.
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.