• Recommendations for recruiting and retaining adolescent girls in chronic exercise (training) research studies

      Massie, Rachel; Smith, Brett; Tolfrey, Keith (MDPI, 2015-08-26)
      Extensive challenges are often encountered when recruiting participants to chronic exercise (training) studies. High participant burden during chronic exercise training programmes can result in low uptake to and/or poor compliance with the study. The aim of this qualitative study was to identify factors affecting adolescent girls’ recruitment and adherence to chronic exercise training research studies. Twenty-six adolescent girls (aged 12 to 15 years) participated in one of five focus groups discussing recruitment and retention to exercise physiology research involving a chronic exercise training programme. A thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and eight final themes were inductively identified. Seven evidence-based practical recommendations are suggested to improve the recruitment and retention of participants for prospective, chronic exercise training studies. Successful recruitment requires: (i) the defining of exercise-related terms; (ii) appropriate choice of recruitment material; and (iii) an understanding of participant motivations. Retention strategies include: (iv) regular monitoring of participant motives; and (v) small groups which foster peer and researcher support. Finally, (vi) friendship and ability groups were favoured in addition to (vii) a variety of activities to promote adherence to an exercise training programme.