Recruitment and participation of recreational runners in a large epidemiological and genetic research study

Retrospective data analysis

Silvia Manzanero, Maria Kozlovskaia, Nicole Vlahovich, David C. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Background: With the increasing capacity for remote collection of both data and samples for medical research, a thorough assessment is needed to determine the association of population characteristics and recruitment methodologies with response rates. Objective: The aim of this research was to assess population representativeness in a two-stage study of health and injury in recreational runners, which consisted of an epidemiological arm and genetic analysis. Methods: The cost and success of various classical and internet-based methods were analyzed, and demographic representativeness was assessed for recruitment to the epidemiological survey, reported willingness to participate in the genetic arm of the study, actual participation, sample return, and approval for biobank storage. Results: A total of 4965 valid responses were received, of which 1664 were deemed eligible for genetic analysis. Younger age showed a negative association with initial recruitment rate, expressed willingness to participate in genetic analysis, and actual participation. Additionally, female sex was associated with higher initial recruitment rates, and ethnic origin impacted willingness to participate in the genetic analysis (all P<.001). Conclusions: The sharp decline in retention through the different stages of the study in young respondents suggests the necessity to develop specific recruitment and retention strategies when investigating a young, physically active population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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