Background: Research is needed to improve diabetes care of minority women who are disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes. Yet, barriers exist that hinder efforts to include minority women in research. Evidence suggests that successful study enrollment requires multiple recruitment strategies. Little is known about the correlation between recruitment strategy and retention. We aim to examine the relationship between Women in Control (WIC) recruitment strategies, enrollment rates, and retention.

Methods: We utilized multiple strategies to recruit minority women, including culturally-tailored invitation letters and phone calls to targeted Boston Medical Center patients, referrals from clinicians and WIC participants, word of mouth, social media, and posted flyers. We analyzed WIC recruitment data to determine the proportion of participants recruited by each method. We then assessed the proportion of WIC participants who adhered to the Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) study protocol by recruitment method.

Results: Overall, targeted recruitment methods (letters and phone calls) yielded the highest number of screens and enrollments with a total of 975 screened, 207 found eligible, 195 enrolled - with 75% of those enrolled, attending 5 out 8 DSME medical group visits (MGV). Recruitment flyers generated the second most potential participants with a total of 73 screened, 18 found eligible and enrolled - with 83% attending 5 out of 8 MGV. All other recruitment methods (clinician or participant referral, word of mouth, social media and unknown source) combined yielded a total of 85 screened, 23 found eligible, 23 enrolled - with 78% attending 5 out of 8 MGV.

Conclusion: Although we used multiple methods to recruit minority women, our data shows that targeted recruitment - using culturally tailored messaging - was the most effective recruitment method. There was no relationship between recruitment method and retention in the intervention.


A. Bragg: None. P. Gardiner: None. S.B. Woods: None. J.M. Howard: None. S. Mitchell: Speaker’s Bureau; Self; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Stock/Shareholder; Self; See Yourself Health, LLC.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01DK106531)

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