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We describe the effectiveness of community outreach and engagement in supporting recruitment for the US National Children’s Vanguard Study between 2009 and 2012.
Thirty-seven study locations used 1 of 4 strategies to recruit 18–49-year-old pregnant or trying to conceive women: (1) Initial Vanguard Study used household-based recruitment; (2) Direct Outreach emphasized self-referral; (3) Enhanced Household-Based Recruitment enhanced Initial Vanguard Study strategies; and (4) Provider-Based Recruitment recruited through healthcare providers. Outreach and engagement included advance letters, interactions with healthcare providers, participation in community events, contacts with community organizations, and media outreach.
After 1–2 years, 41%–74% of 9844 study-eligible women had heard about the National Children’s Vanguard Study when first approached. Women who heard were 1.5–3 times more likely to consent. Hearing via word-of-mouth or the media most frequently predicted consent. The more sources women heard from the higher the odds of consent.
We conclude that tailored outreach and engagement facilitate recruitment in cohort studies.
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