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Strategies to retain rural breast cancer survivors in longitudinal research

Meneses KM, Benz RL, Hassey LA, Yang ZQ, McNees MP


AIMS: To describe the retention of rural women in the Rural Breast Cancer Survivors (RBCS) Intervention.

BACKGROUND: Few studies describe strategies and procedures for retention of participants enrolled in cancer research. Fewer studies focus on underserved rural cancer survivors.

METHODS: A descriptive design was used. A conceptual model of retention based on three factors: researcher, participant, and context with primary, secondary, and tertiary strategies was used to unify the data.

RESULTS: 432 women enrolled in the RBCS study, of which 332 (77%) were retained and completed the 12 month study. Favorable retention strategies included: run-in period, persistent attempts to re-contact hard to reach, recruitment and enrollment tracking database, and a trusting and supportive relationship with the research nurse.

CONCLUSION: A conceptual model of retention with differential strategies can maintain participant retention in a longitudinal research study.

Link to PubMed