Recruiting Young Adult Cancer Survivors for Behavioral Research

  • Carolyn Rabin
  • Santina Horowitz
  • Bess Marcus


Young adults have been dramatically underrepresented in cancer survivorship research. One contributing factor is the difficulty recruiting this population. To identify effective recruitment strategies, the current study assessed the yield of strategies used to recruit young survivors for an exercise intervention including: clinic-based recruitment, recruitment at cancer-related events, mailings, telephone-based recruitment, advertising on the internet, radio, television and social networking media, distributing brochures and word-of-mouth referrals. When taking into account the strategies for which we could track the number of survivors approached, recruitment at an oncology clinic was the most productive: 38 % of those approached were screened and 8 % enrolled. When evaluating which strategy yielded the greatest percentage of the sample, however, mailings were the most productive. Given widespread use of the internet and social networking by young adults, investigators should also consider these low-cost recruitment strategies.


Young adult Cancer survivors Recruitment Internet 



This research was funded by an award from the National Cancer Institute (5 R03 CA134197-02). We would like to thank Beverly Procopio for her assistance with managing the data for this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centers for Behavioral and Preventive MedicineMiriam Hospital and Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family and Preventive MedicineUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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