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Messer, K.L., A.R. Herzog, J.S. Seng, C.M. Sampselle, A.C. Diokno, Trivellore Raghunathan, and S.H. Hines. 2006. "Evaluation of a mass mailing recruitment strategy to obtain a community sample of women for a clinical trial of an incontinence prevention intervention." International Urology and Nephrology, 38(2): 255-261.
Objectives: Questions exist about using mass mailings to recruit representative samples to participate in clinical trials. The MESA Prevention Study (Medical, Epidemiologic and Social Aspects of Aging), a randomized controlled clinical trial to prevent urinary incontinence (UI), utilized a mass mailing recruitment procedure to recruit a representative sample of women to participate in a behavioral modification program. This paper seeks to expand the literature of mass mailing recruitment strategies for prevention studies by describing the procedures used to recruit healthy, continent, post-menopausal women aged 55-80 years. Methods: Sociodemographic data collected from recruited subjects is compared with online national census data to evaluate the representativeness of the sample recruited from a purchased mailing list. Results: The mass mailing procedure resulted in 3.3% positive response. Of those that returned a positive response, 37.6% were deemed eligible at first screening. Comparisons of study demographic data with state and county census data indicate that the sample obtained was representative of the communities. Conclusions: The mass mailing strategy was an effective means of recruiting a representative sample of women, aged 55-80. Short falls and recommendations for successful community sample recruitment strategies for clinical trials in older adult women are elaborated upon.