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cost, cost analysis, minority groups



  1. Engstrom, Gabriella A.
  2. Tappen, Ruth M.
  3. Ouslander, Joseph


Background: America's racial and ethnic composition is changing so rapidly that minority groups are expected to constitute almost half of the U.S. population by 2060. Special efforts are needed to effectively recruit and retain members of racial and ethnic minority groups in health-related research studies, but the information available on time and costs associated with their recruitment is limited.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe and compare the time and monetary costs associated with recruiting and interviewing a diverse sample of older adults living in south Florida.


Methods: Men and women aged 60 years and older from four ethnic groups-African American, Afro-Caribbean, Hispanic American, and European American-were recruited to participate in a longitudinal study of healthy aging. Costs for study activities (including recruitment, scheduling sessions, interviewing, file scoring, log updating, blood specimen analysis and storage, data analysis, and monetary compensation to participants) were determined after 100 weeks of data collection.


Results: Altogether, 483 participants completed the study in the first 100 weeks. The total cost for each participant ranged from $265 to $576. Each successful enrollment required an average of 1.83 hours for recruitment and scheduling of the interviews. The time to interview African American and Afro-Caribbeans was greater than the time needed to interview Hispanic American and European American participants.


Discussion: To develop more accurate budgets for recruitment of minority individuals into research studies and to use the limited resources in an effective way, careful planning and ongoing monitoring of costs are essential.