249487 Efficacious strategies to enhance retention rates of African American population: Project CHURCH

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:47 AM

Chardria Trotter , Department Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Nikita Robinson , Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Nickell Dixon, MPH , Department Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Jacqueline Reese-Smith, PhD , Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Lorna H. McNeill, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Retention of African American (AA) participants in health promotion studies is paramount to decrease health disparities among minority populations1. Retention challenges for AA participants have been attributed to participant satisfaction, historical mistrust of researchers and rigid study procedures (e.g. site location and appointment times)2,3. Project CHURCH, a 2 year pilot prospective cohort study, examined the role of behavioral, social, and environmental factors on minority health and cancer-related disparities among a church-based sample. This paper examines the retention strategies used to obtain African American participants in a health promotion study. Project CHURCH enrolled 1501 men (23.6%) and women (76.4%) between the ages of 1987 years (M=46.5±12.8 years) with 81% reportedly had some college education. Upon the completion of the first year of the study, Project CHURCH retained 95% of the participants. A commitment to the pastoral leadership and community advisory board (CAB), convenient on-site location, flexible appointment times, recurrent financial compensation and access to health information and educational liaison enhanced the retention of Project CHURCH participants. The CAB provided authentic and timely feedback regarding the type of study design most likely preferred by potential participants. Factors identified to enhance retention were linked to participant satisfaction with prompt responses to complaints, excellent customer service and multiple bidirectional communicative efforts such as newsletters and programs. Retention of AA participants in health promotion research is a significant challenge, however future studies should consider culturally competent strategies that increase participant satisfaction, and reduce historical mistrust in an effort to increase retention.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss historical challenges attributed to low retention rates 2. Identify effective strategies to enhance retention of African Americans 3. Evaluate retention strategies as it relates to gender, age and education

Keywords: Participatory Research, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I serve as Research Coordinator to assists with the daily responsibilities of working with participants of Project Church.
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.