This study explores African American adolescents' perceptions about recruitment and retention strategies for intervention studies. Fifteen African American adolescents, ages 13 and 17 years, participated in this focus group study. Adolescents attended one of three groups which varied by size, gender, and the type of chronic condition: well adolescents (n = 7), adolescents with sickle cell disease (n = 5), and adolescents with diabetes (n = 3). Each group of adolescents participated in two group sessions. Content analyses of the two major categories in the study, recruitment and retention, yielded 10 themes. These themes included adolescents' (1) knowledge about their disease; (2) attitudes and expectations of self-care classes; (3) expectations about the research interventions; (4) instructor characteristics; (5) relationships with the researchers; (6) logistical considerations, such as time, location, and setting of interventions; (7) involvement and choice during the intervention; (8) relationships with other teens; (9) incentives for participation, such as food, fun, and money; and (10) the role of health care providers in recruitment and retention for research studies.
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