How to Overcome Recruitment Challenges
Edwards: I've done quite a bit of work, and working with Communities of Color to to find out what their perceived barriers are, to participating in all kinds of research. And one of the biggest issues is that the people that we're asking to participate in our studies only meet the study coordinators. They seldom meet the investigator. The power of the investigator cannot be underestimated. It's really important that our study investigators - as a study investigator myself - be present at some of the recruitment activities, be present at participant meetings.
Dromerick: You have to build a relationship with those patients, those participants. You have to know what's going on in their lives, and whether they're going to move in with their daughter, and where their grandchildren are, and when their birthday is. We actually send out birthday cards and holiday cards, Fourth of July cards or Thanksgiving cards, that kind of thing so that we're building a relationship with that person.
Gorelick: You've got to build that trust over time, and it may take a number of visits before they feel comfortable, and before you've proved to them that you are trustworthy in their eyes. And without that trust, things are not going to go forward.
Capstraw: Don't be afraid to spend time with them, certainly. To answer their questions, to look them in the eye, and if you don't know something, say, "I don't know," and, "I'll be happy to find out," then find out and always, always follow through.
Woo: There are a lot of pre-opinions about, "Oh, you'll never recruit this population," or, "You'll have to say this in order to get that population to participate." I don't know if that's true. I tried not to start off that way in my study.