How Black and Latino young men who have sex with men in the United States experience and engage with eligibility criteria and recruitment practices: implications for the sustainability of community-based research

Morgan M. Philbin, Adrian Guta, Heather Wurtz, Elizabeth N. Kinnard, Ian Bradley-Perrin, Lloyd Goldsamt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research recruitment, eligibility, and who chooses to participate shape the resulting data and knowledge, which together inform interventions, treatment, and programming. Patterns of research participation are particularly salient at this moment given emerging biomedical prevention paradigms. This paper explores the perspectives of Black and Latino young men who have sex with men (BL-YMSM) regarding research recruitment and eligibility criteria, how their experiences influence willingness to enroll in a given study, and implications for the veracity and representativeness of resulting data. We examine inclusion and recruitment as a complex assemblage, which should not be reduced to its parts. From April to July 2018, we conducted in-depth interviews with 30 BL-YMSM, ages 18–29, in New York City. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Black and Latino YMSM’s responses unveiled tensions between researchers’, recruiters’, and participants’ expectations, particularly regarding eligibility criteria (e.g. age, sex frequency), assumptions about ‘risky behaviors,’ and the ‘target’ community. Men preferred peer-to-peer recruitment, noting that most approaches miss key population segments. Findings highlight the need to critically examine the selected ‘target’ community, who sees themselves as participants, and implications for data comprehensiveness and veracity. Study eligibility criteria and recruitment approaches are methodological issues that shape knowledge production and the policies and programs deployed into communities. These findings can inform how future research studies frame recruitment and eligibility in order to better meet the needs of participants and ensure future research engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCritical Public Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • community-based research
  • HIV/AIDS
  • men who have sex with men
  • Research recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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