Considerations of Methodological Approaches in the Recruitment and Retention of Immigrant Participants

  • Maria Lopez-Class
  • Lisa Cubbins
  • Ashley McClure Loving



This study aims to identify effective strategies related to recruitment and retention of immigrant survey participants.


The study used a multi-mode approach in, first, conducting a literature review of recent articles on surveys that either targeted immigrants or included large numbers of immigrants in their samples. Next, six surveys were reviewed that either targeted or included large numbers of immigrants. Finally, expert opinions on immigration were gathered regarding recruitment and retention of immigrant survey participants.


Although immigrants may be difficult to recruit due to limited English proficiency, mistrust of strangers, and/or high mobility, many of these challenges can be overcome by adopting the same strategies used when surveying ethnically diverse populations (e.g., snowballing versus advertisement, establishing a personal connection with data collectors). Nonetheless, a few practices were identified as most relevant for recruitment and retention of immigrant populations, including involving local community organizations relevant to immigrants, translation of materials tailored to the vernacular language of the various ethnicities, and customizing non-monetary incentives to the specific ethnicity.


Based on the reviews and expert interviews, multiple strategies have been shown to be effective in recruiting and retaining immigrant participants.


Latino Immigration Effective strategies for recruitment and retention 


Conflict of Interest

Drs. Maria Lopez-Class, Lisa Cubbins, and Ashley McClure Loving declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

No animal or human studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Lopez-Class
    • 1
  • Lisa Cubbins
    • 2
  • Ashley McClure Loving
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Battelle Memorial InstituteSeattleUSA
  3. 3.ScottsdaleUSA

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