Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Effective Recruitment Strategies for Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Programs

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Effective Recruitment Strategies for Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Programs

Article excerpt

Introduction

The success of a community-based research study or program often depends on its ability to engage the community and meet participant enrollment objectives. Recruitment strategies vary depending on the specific population or goals of a project, but similarities have been observed among health-related projects seeking to engage, describe, and/or assist target populations. UyBico and coauthors (2007) conducted a systematic review of 56 studies evaluating recruitment interventions specific to certain populations, such as minority and low socioeconomic status communities. Paskett and coauthors (2008) similarly reviewed recruitment methods utilized by 21 health-focused studies involving minority and underserved populations. Both research teams reported the frequent use of outreach strategies focused on community healthcare providers, organizations, churches, events, referrals, and door-to-door canvassing (Paskett et al., 2008; UyBico, Pavel, & Gross, 2007). Both reviews also included multiple examples of recruitment strategies using mail and the media to distribute program information. Many of these methods can also be utilized in community-based participatory research, which involves community partners in planning every stage of the recruitment process (Horowitz, Brenner, Lachapelle, Amara, & Arniella, 2009).

Background

Understanding successful recruitment strategies is particularly relevant for grant-funded projects with specific participant eligibility requirements, including grants funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since 1999, HUD has funded research and demonstration efforts aimed at addressing lead-based paint, asthma triggers, and other in-home health hazards through its Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) (Ashley, 2015). Published literature regarding recruitment methods for OLHCHH grantees is limited. Published methodologies of select OLHCHH-funded grants provide brief insights into their approaches to community-based outreach and recruitment; there are multiple common strategies (Table 1). Prominent recruitment strategies include communication with community partners and leaders, outreach at community events and faith-based organizations, clinic or healthcare provider referrals, elevated blood lead level testing referrals, local government office collaboration/referrals, and passive program information dispersal (Brand, Caine, Rhodes, & Ravenscroft, 2016; Dixon et al., 2009; Galke et al., 2005; Polivka, Chaudry, Crawford, Bouton, & Sweet, 2011; Turcotte, Alker, Chaves, Gore, & Woskie, 2014). While these grantees each had different specific objectives and populations, they share the goal of improving the health of residents in low-income housing.

In 2013, the City of Henderson, Nevada, was awarded a Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes grant (NVLHB0558-13) with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as a subgrantee. The resulting Henderson Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes Program (HLHCHHP) was restricted to participants living within the City of Henderson in housing constructed before 1978, the year the Consumer Product Safety Commission ban on the use of lead-based paint in residential structures took effect (Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1977). Additionally, homes had to include at least one bedroom, be a permanent structure, and be located within Henderson city limits. For owner-occupied properties, the program required either a) the presence of a child who lives in or frequently visits the home or b) the presence of a pregnant woman in the home. Following a November 2014 change in HUD policy for these grants, rental units did not have to meet these requirements regarding children and/or pregnant women (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2014). Finally, residents of the home were required to meet HUD income guidelines requiring the total household income (aged 18 or older) to fall below 80% of annual median income for Clark County, adjusted to household size. …

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