Enhancing recruitment and retention of minority young women in community-based clinical research

Constance M. Wiemann, Mariam R. Chacko, Jacinda C. Tucker, Mary M. Velasquez, Peggy B. Smith, Ralph J. DiClemente, Kirk Von Sternberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women are disproportionately affected by the sexually transmitted infections (STI) epidemic, with African-Americans and Latinos at significantly higher risk for STIs than Caucasians. Successful recruitment and retention strategies used with young minority women in community-based STI prevention or intervention research have not been previously reported. This communication presents eight key strategies learned in the recruitment and retention of 16- to 21-year-old urban women participating in a 12-month randomized clinical trial designed to promote STI screening to decrease the duration of untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea infection. Strategies learned include: (1) Educate clinic staff on the rigors of study design; (2) Facilitate a team effort between clinical and research staff; modify recruitment procedures, as needed; (3) Provide prospective participants the option of enrolling by return appointment; (4) Anticipate a diminishing recruitment pool over time; (5) Set positive recruitment tone at the beginning of each clinic session; (6) Consider participants' mothers as important points of contact; (7) Match communication styles to participant contacts; and (8) Consider a variety of retention techniques. Together, these strategies helped to reinforce participant's commitment to the project, facilitated their attendance at interviews, and encouraged them to adhere to the treatment protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Adolescents
  • Race/ethnic minority
  • Recruitment and retention
  • STD research
  • Young women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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