Original Paper

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 882-888

First online:

Strategies to Recruit Minority persons: A Systematic Review

  • Sarah IbrahimAffiliated withDaphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University Email author 
  • , Souraya SidaniAffiliated withDaphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University

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To identify and describe strategies used to recruit persons of ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds and to examine their reported effectiveness. Studies (n = 26) reporting on recruitment of persons of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, published in English between 1995 and 2012, were included in this systematic review. Data on the type of recruitment strategies and overall reported effectiveness of the strategy in recruiting participants were extracted. The vote counting method was used to synthesize the findings on effectiveness. Both proactive (face-to-face) and reactive recruitment strategies (collaboration with key leaders, snowball and word of mouth, printed material, and broadcast media) and providing compensation, being flexible, building rapport and trust, and employing ethnically and culturally diverse research staff were effective in recruiting participants. A list of strategies that are effective in recruiting persons of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds were generated. Researchers can select the evidence-based strategies that are most applicable in the context of their study.


Recruitment Ethnic minorities Research participants