Volume 11 Issue 1 (2015)
Main Articles

Using Culturally Informed Strategies to Enhance Recruitment of African Americans in Dementia Research: A Nurse Researcher's Experience

Fayron Recha Epps
Iberia Rehabilitation Hospital
Lisa Skemp
Loyola University Chicago
Janet Specht
University of Iowa
Published September 25, 2015
  • minority recruitment,
  • dementia,
  • African American,
  • family caregiver,
  • culturally informed recruitment strategy


Decreased research participation hinders advancement in the understanding and treatment of dementia in African Americans. This article describes the experience of a nurse researcher using culturally informed strategies to enhance recruitment in the African American population in southern Louisiana, as part of a study on family involvement in health promotion activities for older adults with dementia. Strategies went beyond having minority recruiters and recruiting from churches to becoming familiar with the context and culture of southern Louisiana through engagement with the community and attaining buy-in from formal and informal contacts. The researcher kept field notes, journals, and a record of recruitment activities to assure accountability during recruitment. An analysis of the field notes revealed the salience of six themes, namely Gaining Trust, Visibility, Networking, Follow-up, Purposeful Activity, and Community Engagement. Barriers that were overcome included knowledge deficit about dementia in the target community and the cultural unsuitability of the terminology linked to dementia. Benefits included community awareness and development of community and family partnerships, and of course, the recruitment of adequate number of research participants.