The VidaSana study: Recruitment strategies for longitudinal assessment of egocentric hispanic immigrant networks

Mariana Lopez-Owens, Kristen Starkey, Cindy Gil, Karla Armenta, Gerardo Maupomé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We disseminate the recruitment strategies used in the five-year VidaSana study (started in 2017) in the Midwest region of the United States, targeting recently arrived Hispanic immigrants. VidaSana aims to follow immigrants within six months of arrival for 24 months to (1) characterize features of networks (personal and community) that improve or undermine dental health; and (2) further refine methods to quantify the evolution of egocentric networks, using social network methodology. We implemented several strategies to promote and recruit potential participants into the study. We collaborate with agents serving Indiana’s Hispanic communities using three levels of visibility. The broad level includes radio advertisements, TV interviews, newspaper advertisements, and targeted Facebook advertisements. Intermediate level visibility includes posting flyers in schools, employment agencies, immigrant welcome centers, and Hispanic businesses; making announcements at church/temple and school events; tabling at community, church and school events; and a pervasive adaptation of our strategies to the requirements of our partners. Lastly, the individualized level includes direct referrals by partners through word of mouth. From the initial 13 months of recruitment (494 screened contacts and 202 recruited participants), the most successful recruitment strategies appear to be a combination of intermediate-and individual-level strategies; specifically, face-to-face recruitment at school events, direct referrals from our community partners, and tabling at community/school/church events. The current interim findings and future final findings will help guide recruitment and retention strategies for studies focused on immigrants in the current climate of heightened immigration regulations and enforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2878
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018


  • Barriers to care
  • Central americans
  • Dental care
  • Hispanic immigration
  • Mexican americans
  • Oral health
  • Recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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