Methodological strategies to engage young black and Latino heterosexual couples in sexual and reproductive health research

Yzette Lanier, Alena Campo, Claudine Lavarin, Ashley Toussaint, Marya Gwadz, Vincent Guilamo-Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Approaches that move beyond individuals and target couples may be an effective strategy for reducing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) disparities among adolescents and young adults (AYA). However, few researchers have attempted to recruit couples due to feasibility and methodological issues. This study aims to enhance implementation and methodological approaches to successfully engage heterosexual Black and Latino adolescent and young adult (AYA) couples in sexual reproductive health (SRH) research. Methods: We developed a four-step approach to systematically engage AYA couples in a qualitative study examining factors that influence uptake of combination HIV prevention methods: 1) understanding barriers and facilitators to engaging AYA couples, (2) identifying AYAs living in geographic areas of HIV vulnerability, (3) recruiting and screening AYA couples, and (4) scheduling and completion of the interview session. Results: Black and Latino youth aged 16 to 24 and their opposite sex romantic were recruited in the South Bronx, New York from September 2017-May 2018. Three hundred and seventy-two men and women completed screening procedures to determine eligibility for the index participant; 125 were eligible and enrolled into the study. Forty-nine nominated partners (NPs) participated in screening procedures and enrolled into the study. A total of 49 couples enrolled into the study; 23 couples completed study activities. Conclusions: Developing a systematic recruitment plan aided in successfully engaging Black and Latino heterosexual youth. Nevertheless, barriers to study enrollment remained including locating eligible IPs and screening of the NP. Targeting both young men and women was an effective recruitment strategy. Moreover, dyadic strategies that allow for simultaneous interaction with both couple members may be a beneficial strategy to couples' study enrollment and completion of study activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number375
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 4 2020


  • Adolescents and young adults
  • Blacks
  • Couples
  • Implementation science
  • Latinos
  • Sexual and reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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