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Recruit & Retain Participants

A Case Study of Engaging Hard-to-Reach Participants in the Research Process: Community Advisors on Research Design and Strategies (CARDS)

The engagement of lay stakeholders, such as community advisory boards (CABs), has the potential to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups by providing a structure for gathering feedback on research plans and materials. However, many CABs recruit prominent stakeholders who are connected to or comfortable with research and academia and thus may not accurately represent all underrepresented populations.

Researchers developed a partnership between a university nursing school and two community centers to try to engage these hard-to-reach groups (e.g., low-income and low-literacy populations) and form two lay advisory groups. Community center staff recruited participants in an effort dubbed CARDS (Community Advisors on Research Design and Strategies). The authors wrote that they have successfully used the CARDS model to bring hard-to-reach populations into the research process and have sustained their participation, providing a model for increasing diversity in research participation.

Kaiser BL, Thomas GR, Bowers BJ. A case study of engaging hard-to-reach participants in the research process: Community Advisors on Research Design and Strategies (CARDS). Research in Nursing & Health 2017;40(1):70-79.

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