An Empowerment-based Method for Recruiting Women with Intellectual Disabilities to Participate in Health Promotion Research
Research methods and intellectual disabilities
We describe a recruitment method for women with intellectual disabilities for a randomized-controlled trial of a health promotion intervention. Of 269 women who participated in information sessions, 203 (75%) enrolled in the study. Enrollment rates were lower for women with legal guardians due to lower rates of guardian consent.
The need for evidence-based health promotion interventions for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities is critical. However, significant barriers impede them from participating in research, including those related to recruitment and obtaining informed consent. This study describes an empowerment-based procedure for the recruitment and consent of women with intellectual disabilities into a community-based, multi-site randomized controlled trial. Of 269 women who participated in information sessions, 203 (75%) enrolled in the study. While women with and without legal guardians consented at the same approximate rates (83% and 85%, respectively), those with legal guardians enrolled at significantly lower rates (61%) because of lower rates (74%) of guardian consent. It is possible to recruit community- dwelling women with intellectual disabilities into randomized controlled trials at relatively high rates, participation rates. Recruiting women who have guardians poses additional challenges for researchers.