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Keywords

hip fracture, recruitment of participants, research nurses

 

Authors

  1. Resnick, Barbara
  2. Concha, Betty
  3. Burgess, Judy Graham
  4. Fine, Mary Louise
  5. West, Linda
  6. Baylor, Karen
  7. Nahm, Eun Shim
  8. Buie, Verita Custis
  9. Werner, Michelle
  10. Orwig, Denise
  11. Magaziner, Jay

Abstract

Objectives: This study used a qualitative approach in which participants were asked to write about their experiences in recruiting older women into either one of two exercise intervention studies that are part of the Baltimore Hip Studies. The sample included 8 researcher nurses all women, White, and 42-53 years of age.

 

Background: Older adults, particularly older women, are less likely to participate in research studies when compared to their younger counterparts. The purpose of this study was to explore the techniques successfully used by research nurses in the Baltimore Hip Studies to recruit older women after hip fracture into exercise intervention studies.

 

Method: Data analysis was performed using basic content analysis (Crabtree & Miller, 1992; Miles & Huberman, 1984) "in vivo" coding (Dowd, 1991), or "grounded" coding (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), which involves using the informants' own words to capture a particular idea.

 

Results: A total of 16 codes were identified and reduced to nine themes. Seven themes focused on techniques that facilitated recruitment: (a) caring for individuals; (b) emphasizing benefits; (c) eliciting support from others; (d) being an expert; (e) using role models; (f) using good timing; and (g) giving good first impressions. The remaining two themes identified barriers to recruitment: (a) time commitment and (b) lack of support.

 

Discussion: Based on these themes, specific recruitment techniques are recommended. Ongoing research, however, is needed to establish the most effective recruitment procedures with older women.

 

During the 20th century, the number of older adults increased more than tenfold. In 2000 there were approximately 35 million people age 65 or older (National Center for Health Statistics, 2002). Women who reach age 65 can expect to live an additional 19 years and men at age 65 can expect to live an additional 16 years. Although there is an increase in length of life, older adults are also living longer with chronic illnesses (Kovner, Mezey & Harrington, 2002) and require medical and nursing management for these illnesses. There is the need to establish, through research, evidence-based practices that will improve and maintain the health of these older individuals. Older adults, particularly older women, are less likely to participate in research when compared to their younger counterparts (Norton, Breitner, Welsh, & Wyse, 1994;Sugarman, McCrocry & Hubal, 1998).

 

The purpose of this study was to identify the techniques successfully used by research nurses in the Baltimore Hip Studies (expanded information may be found at Editor's Web site http://sonweb.unc.edu/nursing-research-editor-see Table 1) to recruit older women after hip fracture into exercise intervention studies. Older women (age 65 and above) who sustained a hip fracture were recruited into the Baltimore Hip Studies within the first 15 days after fracture. Recruitment was initiated in the acute care setting and was performed during face-to-face encounters by study nurses. Over the past 4 years there have been a total of 1,824 hip fractures at study sites, 359 of these individuals were eligible for the study, and 256 (71%) consented to participate. Twelve months postrecruitment, retention of subjects ranges from 85-95%.