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Maximizing Respondent-Driven Sampling Field Procedures in the Recruitment of Sexual Minorities for Health Research

NCJ Number
Sage Open Medicine Volume: 7 Dated: 2019
Date Published
10 pages
This study maximized respondent-driven sampling field procedures in the recruitment of sexual minorities for health research.

Research to address the significant health burden experienced by sexual minority populations remains hampered by a lack of appropriate sampling methods to support evidence-based studies. Respondent-driven sampling offers one viable strategy to recruit these hidden populations. Because few studies systematically report their experiences using respondent-driven sampling to recruit sexual minorities, the current study aligns with recent recommendations for the standardization of reporting and transparency in studies utilizing respondent-driven sampling. The study's objectives were to (1) provide detailed descriptions about the successful execution of respondent-driven sampling in two community-based studies of sexual minority individuals, (2) outline procedures to enhance the effectiveness of respondent-driven sampling referral processes, (3) present mixed-methods results regarding the effectiveness of respondent-driven sampling in our studies, and (4) offer recommendations for other researchers when using respondent-driven sampling. The study recruited 655 sexual minority men and women for two studies, using respondent-driven sampling. Resulting metrics indicate the achievement of equilibrium in each study. In addition, exit interviews elucidated strategies to effectively target referrals who meet the study criteria and procedures to promote the study that will maximize referral chains and ensure attainment of equilibrium. The study concludes that mixed-methods results suggest that respondent-driven sampling can be an effective means of recruiting a community-based sample of sexual minorities in smaller urban regions. Limitations are presented and suggestions are offered to researchers utilizing respondent-driven sampling in future studies. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019