In India, care seeking for reproductive health among women is inadequate. This poses a unique challenge to researchers recruiting cohorts for studies in clinic-based settings. The purpose of this paper is to describe the recruitment process used in a prospective cohort study investigating the relationship between bacterial vaginosis and acquisition of HSV-2 among sexually active women in Mysore, India. Participants were initially recruited from an obstetrics/gynaecology outpatient clinic. Results were compared with a 'community supported' enrolment process, which included community preparation and reproductive health education followed by screening of potential participants. During November 2005, 1,054 women were screened in the clinic. Of the total screened, 246 (23%) were eligible and only 78 (7%) enrolled. Between December 2005 and April 2006, investigators adopted a community supported enrolment process. During that period, 1,077 potential participants were screened, 947 were eligible, and 918 (85%) enrolled. Fifty-six (72%) participants recruited from the clinic returned for their first follow-up visit, compared with 795 (97%) participants recruited using the community supported enrolment process. Since obstetrics/gynaecology departments in India are poor places to recruit non-pregnant women of reproductive age, a community supported process yields more eligible potential participants to screen, and results in significantly better study retention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health