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01-04-2012 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2012

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2012

The Significance of Strategic Community Engagement in Recruiting African American Youth & Families for Clinical Research

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2012
Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, Carl C. Bell, Antoinette Burriss, H. Kathy Poole, The AAKOMA Project Adult Advisory Board


We present baseline data and describe the utility of a community engaged, culturally relevant approach to recruiting African American youth and families for phase I of The AAKOMA Project. The AAKOMA Project is a two phase treatment development study to improve mental health service use among depressed African American youth. We completed capacity building activities using a community engaged framework and Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) methods. Replicating the (Alvarez et al. in West J Nurs Res 28:541–560, 2006) model of systematic community outreach enhanced our ability to effectively recruit partners and evaluate outreach efforts as demonstrated by our Recruitment Success Factor (RSF—i.e. ‘an adjusted ratio of eligible participant yield to contacts made’). Using the chi-square goodness-of-fit statistic; we compared the RSFs of the various modes of participant study entry to determine which was most effective. Our target enrollment was 56 persons. We recruited 130 and enrolled 57. Our baseline data is drawn from a gender balanced and socioeconomically diverse sample who participated in youth focus groups and individual interviews and adult focus groups. We identified 3 study participant referral modes (self-referral, provider referral and participant-to-participant referral) with multiple sources per mode and an overall RSF of 0.41. Study findings support the effectiveness of assiduous and systematic community interaction, reflective review of recruitment efforts and the importance of disseminating information on strategic recruitment processes for engaging diverse populations in clinical research.

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