(HealthDay News) – In-person recruitment at hospital-based prenatal clinics produces the highest yield of early stage pregnant study participants, according to a study published online March 7 in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Kimberly Coleman-Phox, MPH, from the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues recruited 18- to 45-year-old, English-speaking, overweight and obese pregnant women. Participants were in the early stages of pregnancy and had an annual household income <500% of the federal poverty guidelines. Consenting participants enrolled in focus groups or an eight-week behavioral intervention.

The researchers found that, of 127 women screened for focus group participation, 69 were eligible and enrolled. There was a completion rate of 87%, with 57 women participating in nine focus groups and three women completing individual interviews. Contact was made with 204 women during recruitment for the intervention, with 135 women screened, 33% deemed eligible, and 69.1% of eligible women enrolling. An assessment was completed at one month postpartum by 82.6% of eligible women. Hospital-based prenatal clinics were the highest-yielding recruitment strategy.

“In-person recruitment was the most successful strategy; establishing close relationships with providers, clinic staff, social service providers, and study participants was essential to successful recruitment and retention,” the authors write.

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