Abstract P173: Community Engagement Makes for Recruitment Success into a Randomized Controlled Intervention Trial for Deaf Adults
The majority of Americans are either overweight or obese, including Deaf adults who use American Sign Language (ASL). Together, Deaf community members and researchers at the Rochester Prevention Research Center: National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) in Rochester, NY, identified obesity as a top health priority and chose to adapt a healthy lifestyle intervention for Deaf adults.
Since this is one of the few healthy lifestyle interventions involving the Deaf community, we wanted to learn more about recruiting Deaf adults to participate in a healthy lifestyle intervention. Thus, we explored different recruitment strategies to learn what worked to recruit Deaf individuals into a 16-week healthy lifestyle intervention, Deaf Weight Wise (DWW), delivered by a Deaf counselor who uses ASL. Prior to DWW recruitment, we implemented an educational campaign to increase the Deaf community’s knowledge and awareness of NCDHR and how and why the research is conducted. Several different recruitment strategies were used including NCDHR-hosted events, outreach to other Deaf organizations/groups and local faith-based organizations, social media, existing research recruitment lists, word of mouth, and peer recruitment. At the initial study visit, NCDHR research staff asked all individuals who inquired about DWW how they learned about the study. All responses were documented and entered into our database.
From August 2011 to June 2012, a total of 165 individuals inquired about DWW. Out of the 165, 132 attended a screening visit, and 104 fully enrolled into the study. Out of the 104 who enrolled into the study, many learned about DWW through one of the community organizations (28%, n=29), study participants (24%, n=25), or NCDHR hosted events (22%, n=23). None of the study participants reported that they learned about the study via a faith-based organization or social media. Participants were 68% (71/104) female, 91% (95/104) White, and 33% (34/104) had at least a 4-year college degree. On average, participants were 53.5 years old, weighed 92.9 kg, and had a Body Mass Index of 33.3 kg/m2. Retention and participation in the randomized trial has been excellent.
In conclusion, recruitment was most successful with organizations and individuals with whom we had previously established relationships/networks with whom the NCDHR had long-term and positive engagement. Recruiting from faith-based organizations was challenging, which lacked this engagement. Future recruitment strategies include continued relationship-building with faith-based organizations and with individual community members and organizational leaders. Lessons learned from programs with the Deaf community likely also pertain to other linguistic and cultural groups.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.