The Wednesday AccrualNet Post (7-11-12) You've Got Mail: Evidence-based strategy for reaching racial and ethnic minorities
Originally posted by: Linda Parreco, AccrualNet Co-Moderator, on the former AccrualNet site on Jul 11, 2012.
We all appreciate the importance of adequate representation of minority populations in randomized clinical trials--and we acknowledge that there are many challenges associated with successfully reaching racial and ethnic minorities. Numerous strategies have been described, but many are resource intensive and/or lack evidence to support their efficacy. We were happy to recently receive an interesting original research article from lead author Susan Brown, PhD of Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Dr. Brown's study, "Minority recruitments into clinical trials: experimental findings and practical implications" looked at the use of a direct mail strategy and compared letters that included either an ethnically targeted statement or personalization to recruit minority women to a behavioral weight management trial. The ethnically targeted statement noted ethnic-specific information about health risks of obesity. Personalized letters included recipients' names/addresses in the salutation and a handwritten signature on high-quality letterhead. Women who were sent the ethnically targeted statement were more likely to respond than were women sent letters with the generic statement. Women sent personalized letters were no more likely to respond than were women sent nonpersonalized letters. The simple modification of adding ethnic-specific information had a meaningful impact on minority reach and recruitment rates.
Have you used direct mail as a recruitment method? How did you personalize the letters? What are your thoughts on adding ethnic-specific information to a recruitment letter?