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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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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Correspondence to Tilman Brand.

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Brand, T., Samkange-Zeeb, F., Dragano, N. et al. Participation of Turkish Migrants in an Epidemiological Study: Does the Recruitment Strategy Affect the Sample Characteristics?. J Immigrant Minority Health 21, 811–819 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-018-0788-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-018-0788-4

Keywords

  • Turkish migrants
  • Recruitment
  • Epidemiologic study
  • Germany