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Recruiting low income and racially/ethnically diverse adolescents for focus groups

, : Recruiting low income and racially/ethnically diverse adolescents for focus groups. Maternal and Child Health Journal 18(8): 1912-1918

Recruiting and enrolling low income, racially and ethnically diverse adolescents into research studies can be a challenge. This paper details our research team's methodology in the recruitment and enrollment of low income and racially/ethnically diverse adolescents in three cities as part of a broader study to understand adolescent perceptions of a health risks. Our team used Florida's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan administrative databases to identify a sample of adolescents for focus group participation. Utilizing geographic information systems software we generated maps of racial and ethnic group clusters in three cities and identified community centers within each cluster to hold the focus groups. We mailed initial focus group introduction letters, conducted follow-up phone calls for recruitment and further implemented techniques to optimize participant confidentiality and comfort. We enrolled 35 participants for eight focus groups in three cities at a total cost of $264 per participant, including personnel, materials, travel, and incentives costs. As a result of our efforts, groups were fairly evenly distributed by both race and gender. Administrative databases provide opportunities to identify and recruit low income and racially/ethnically diverse adolescents for focus groups that might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in research studies. It is important that researchers ensure these populations are represented when conducting health assessment tool evaluations.


PMID: 24469359

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-014-1435-x

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