Participation of Turkish Migrants in an Epidemiological Study: Does the Recruitment Strategy Affect the Sample Characteristics?

  • Tilman BrandEmail author
  • Florence Samkange-Zeeb
  • Nico Dragano
  • Thomas Keil
  • Lilian Krist
  • Rahsan Yesil-Jürgens
  • Martin Schlaud
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel
  • Oliver Razum
  • Katharina Reiss
  • Karin Halina Greiser
  • Heiko Zimmermann
  • Heiko Becher
  • Hajo Zeeb
Original Paper


Migrants are often poorly represented in epidemiological studies which limits the generalizability of the results of population-based studies. This study aimed to assess whether a community-based sampling (CBS) of persons of Turkish origin leads to differences in the participants’ characteristics compared to a register-based sampling (RBS). The two sampling strategies were used to recruit participants in three cities in Germany (CBS: n = 641; RBS: n = 578). We compared sociodemographic, migration- and health-related characteristics. Census data were used as an external reference. Lower German language skills and a lower acculturation status were more prevalent in the CBS than in the RBS. While age and sex adjusted obesity prevalence differed [CBS: 37.8 (33.6–42.4); RBS 30.0 (26.3–34.0); census data 19.1 (18.2–20.1)], most other health indicators were similar across the samples. In conclusion, the CBS approach led to a greater representation of persons of Turkish origin with lower language skills and lower acculturation status. Nevertheless, both recruitment strategies provided similar estimates of health status indicators.


Turkish migrants Recruitment Epidemiologic study Germany 



This study was part of the feasibility studies in preparation for the German National Cohort and was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (German: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung); Grant Number: 01ER1001B; Beneficiary: Freiburg University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tilman Brand
    • 1
    Email author
  • Florence Samkange-Zeeb
    • 1
  • Nico Dragano
    • 2
  • Thomas Keil
    • 3
  • Lilian Krist
    • 3
  • Rahsan Yesil-Jürgens
    • 4
  • Martin Schlaud
    • 5
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel
    • 6
  • Oliver Razum
    • 7
  • Katharina Reiss
    • 7
    • 8
  • Karin Halina Greiser
    • 9
  • Heiko Zimmermann
    • 10
  • Heiko Becher
    • 11
  • Hajo Zeeb
    • 1
    • 12
  1. 1.Department of Prevention and EvaluationLeibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPSBremenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Sociology, Centre for Health and Society, Medical FacultyUniversity of DuesseldorfDuesseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health EconomicsCharité UniversitätsmedizinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Medicine Berlin, Charité UniversitätsmedizinBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Health MonitoringRobert Koch InstituteBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (IMIBE)University Hospital EssenEssenGermany
  7. 7.Department of Epidemiology & International Public Health, Bielefeld School of Public Health (BiSPH)Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  8. 8.AID Information Service: Food, Agriculture, Consumer ProtectionBonnGermany
  9. 9.German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)HeidelbergGermany
  10. 10.Institute of Public HealthUniversity Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  11. 11.Institute of Medical Biometry and EpidemiologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  12. 12.Health Sciences BremenUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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