Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 55–65

Strategies for retaining study participants in behavioral intervention trials: Retention experiences of the nih behavior change consortium

  • Mace Coday
  • Carla Boutin-Foster
  • Tamara Goldman Sher
  • Jennifer Tennant
  • Mary L. Greaney
  • Sandra D. Saunders
  • Grant W. Somes
Article

DOI: 10.1207/s15324796abm2902s_9

Cite this article as:
Coday, M., Boutin-Foster, C., Sher, T.G. et al. ann. behav. med. (2005) 29: 55. doi:10.1207/s15324796abm2902s_9

Abstract

Failing to retain an adequate number of study participants in behavioral intervention trials poses a threat to interpretation of study results and its external validity. This qualitative investigation describes the retention strategies promoted by the recruitment and retention committee of the Behavior Change Consortium, a group of 15 university-based sites funded by the National Institutes of Health to implement studies targeted toward disease prevention through behavior change. During biannual meetings, focus groups were conducted with all sites to determine barriers encountered in retaining study participants and strategies employed to address these barriers. All of the retention strategies reported were combined into 8 thematic retention categories. Those categories perceived to be most effective for retaining study participants were summarized and consistencies noted among site populations across the life course (e.g., older adults, adults, children, and adolescents). Further, possible discrepancies between site populations of varying health statuses are discussed, and an ecological framework is proposed for use in future investigations on retention.

Copyright information

© Society of Behavioral Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mace Coday
    • 1
  • Carla Boutin-Foster
    • 2
  • Tamara Goldman Sher
    • 3
  • Jennifer Tennant
    • 4
  • Mary L. Greaney
    • 5
  • Sandra D. Saunders
    • 5
  • Grant W. Somes
    • 6
  1. 1.The University of Tennessee Health Science CenterUSA
  2. 2.Weill Cornell Medical CollegeUSA
  3. 3.Illinois Institute of TechnologyUSA
  4. 4.Rush University Medical CenterUSA
  5. 5.University of Rhode IslandUSA
  6. 6.The University of Tennessee Health Science CenterUSA
  7. 7.Department of Preventive MedicineThe University of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphis

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