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Recruitment and Retention Strategies of African American and Latina American Breast Cancer Survivors in a Longitudinal Psycho-Oncology Study

Kimlin Ashing-Giwa
Monica Rosales
ONF 2012, 39(5), E434-E442 DOI: 10.1188/12.ONF.E434-E442

Purpose/Objectives: To describe recruitment and retention strategies of a psychosocial intervention with African American and Latina American breast cancer survivors (BCSs).

Design: Prospective design with pre- and post-testing.

Setting: A mailed survey and assignment to telephone counseling or education booklet only.

Sample: 587 African American and Latina American BCSs were recruited.

Methods: The sample was drawn from the population-based California cancer and hospital registries, as well as community agencies. Mailed self-report health-related quality-of-life assessments were at baseline and 4-6 months follow-up.

Main Research Variables: Accrual outcomes; recruitment and retention strategies.

Findings: A total of 375 (64%) completed the baseline survey and 320 (55%) completed both baseline and follow-up assessments. The recruitment outcomes suggest that very special attention must be paid to the initial recruitment of Latina Americans to engage their interest and participation. For African Americans, particular attention must be devoted to their retention to address potential attrition.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that the inclusion of lower-income and ethnic minority cancer survivors in a longitudinal intervention study is doable. The results indicate that recruitment outcomes are influenced by participant and study characteristics. Successful enrollment requires investigations that attend to culturally and socioecologically informed recruitment and retention strategies, from staff selection, training, and supervision to overall study approach protocol, to address barriers to participation.

Implications for Nursing: Nursing research and practice have championed survivorship care, including psychosocial care. This article outlines practical strategies to recruit and retain population-based samples, ethnic minorities, and underserved survivors.

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