Recruiting and retaining older adults for health promotion research: The experience of the SENIOR project

Document Type


Date of Original Version



This paper examines recruitment and retention efforts utilized by a community-based health promotion intervention with older adults (N = 1,277). Recruitment strategies were classified as either involving or not involving personal interaction with project staff. There was no difference by recruitment method in demographic characteristics, but a greater proportion of participants recruited using strategies without personal interaction were in the earlier stage of change (SOC) for fruit and vegetable consumption compared with those recruited using strategies involving personal contact. Conversely, a greater proportion recruited without interaction with project staff was in action/maintenance SOC for exercise. Attrition was greater among individuals in the earlier SOC for exercise and among those who perceived their health to be fair/poor. As most participants were recruited using strategies involving interaction with project staffs, it may be best to emphasize techniques involving personal contact when recruiting older adults to participate in research studies.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly