Connecting communities to health research: Development of the Project CONNECT minority research registry
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INTRODUCTION: Prevention and treatment standards are based on evidence obtained in behavioral and clinical research. However, racial and ethnic minorities remain relatively absent from the science that develops these standards. While investigators have successfully recruited participants for individual studies using tailored recruitment methods, these strategies require considerable time and resources. Research registries, typically developed around a disease or condition, serve as a promising model for a targeted recruitment method to increase minority participation in health research. This study assessed the tailored recruitment methods used to populate a health research registry targeting African-American community members. METHODS: We describe six recruitment methods applied between September 2004 and October 2008 to recruit members into a health research registry. Recruitment included direct (existing studies, public databases, community outreach) and indirect methods (radio, internet, and email) targeting the general population, local universities, and African American communities. We conducted retrospective analysis of the recruitment by method using descriptive statistics, frequencies, and chi-square statistics. RESULTS: During the recruitment period, 608 individuals enrolled in the research registry. The majority of enrollees were African American, female, and in good health. Direct and indirect methods were identified as successful strategies for subgroups. Findings suggest significant associations between recruitment methods and age, presence of existing health condition, prior research participation, and motivation to join the registry. CONCLUSIONS: A health research registry can be a successful tool to increase minority awareness of research opportunities. Multi-pronged recruitment approaches are needed to reach diverse subpopulations.
author list (cited authors)
Green, M. A., Kim, M. M., Barber, S., Odulana, A. A., Godley, P. A., Howard, D. L., & Corbie-Smith, G. M.