|Thompson, Deborah - Debbe|
Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2006
Publication Date: 10/10/2006
Citation: Thompson, D., Canada, A., Bhatt, R., Davis, J., Plesko, L., Baranowski, T., Cullen, K., Zakeri, I. 2006. eHealth recruitment challenges. Evaluation and Program Planning. 29(4):433-440. Interpretive Summary: Little is known about how to recruit for eHealth programs. This article discusses challenges faced when recruiting girls for a web-based obesity prevention program and how those challenges were overcome. This article will help others identify potentially effective recruitment techniques for eHealth programs.
Technical Abstract: Little is known about effective eHealth recruitment methods. This paper presents recruitment challenges associated with enrolling African-American girls aged 8-10 years in an eHealth obesity prevention program, their effect on the recruitment plan, and potential implications for eHealth research. Although the initial recruitment strategy was literature-informed, it failed to enroll the desired number of girls within a reasonable time period. Therefore, the recruitment strategy was reformulated to incorporate principles of social marketing and traditional marketing techniques. The resulting plan included both targeted, highly specific strategies (e.g., selected churches), and more broad-based approaches (e.g., media exposure, mass mailings, radio advertisements). The revised plan enabled recruitment goals to be attained. Media appeared to be particularly effective at reaching the intended audience. Future research should identify the most effective recruitment strategies for reaching potential eHealth audiences.