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An Examination of Community Partnership and Strategies Used in Conducting Nutrition and Food Security Research With Low-Income Pregnant Women

By: , & Published: 2020 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health
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Recruitment of low-income minority populations, particularly women, into health-based research has faced challenges related to transportation, time, and lack of child care. However, collaboration between researchers and community-based health provider to provide a space for research and enhance trust among participants may improve retention rates and results. This case describes recruitment and retention strategies used in a cross-sectional study examining food security, diet, and birth outcomes among low-income pregnant women. We outline development of the research partnership with a semi-urban North Carolina Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinic, depict our integrated study design via flow model, and describe recruitment outcomes. WIC staff collaborated throughout the process in development of recruitment schedules and strategies. Participants included WIC clients ≥18 years and in the second trimester of pregnancy. The retention rate from Part 1 (initial interview) to Part 2 (follow-up phone interview) of the study was 87% with full recruitment of 198 participants in a 7-month period. Recruitment and retention strategies included the following: introduction of the study by the WIC staff, two-staged incentives, multiple reminders for participants, and conducting the study interview during the wait time of standard WIC appointments for pregnant women. Early collaboration and constant communication with the WIC staff for their input were critical in building an effective partnership. WIC staff played a key role in building trust and establishing rapport between clients and research staff, which encouraged participation and improved overall recruitment.

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Recruiting participants

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