Extent and Sources of Awareness about the U.S. National Children's Study

Monday, 18 November 2013: 2:25 PM

Beth B. Tigges, PhD, RN, CPNP, BC
College of Nursing, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Robert D Annett, PhD
Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM
Renate D. Savich, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM
Kristine Tollestrup, PhD, MPH
Department of Familly and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM

Learning Objective 1: Describe the effectiveness of an extensive community outreach campaign for a large, U.S.-based epidemiological study of children's health.

Learning Objective 2: Describe those outreach strategies that worked best to increase community awareness.

Purpose:  To describe the extent and sources of community members' awareness about a U.S.-wide epidemiological study, the National Children's Study (NCS) in one county in New Mexico (NM) after an extensive community outreach campaign.

Background:  The NCS is a prospective cohort study of children in the U.S. who will be followed from before birth until 21 years to examine genetic and environmental influences on health.  Valencia County, NM (55% Hispanic; 3% American Indian) was one of the U.S. counties selected using probability sampling for participation in a pilot study of door-to-door recruitment.   An extensive outreach campaign was conducted to encourage enumeration and enrollment.

Methods:  The outreach campaign involved locally produced media (billboards, radio, television, and newspaper); advance mailings; water bill flyers; newsletters; community events; $5 public school donations; and a Community Advisory Council.  Recruiters visited households in selected neighborhoods and asked residents to complete enumeration about household characteristics.  If a woman > 18 lived there and agreed, she was interviewed to determine if she was pregnant or trying and eligible to enroll.  Two of the questions were:  "Before today, had you heard about the NCS?" and "How did you hear about the NCS?”

Results*:  9,700 households were visited, 3,850 (40%) were enumerated, 1,950 (51%) had women > 18 years and 950 (49%) women completed interviews.  74% of women had heard about the Study although there was some variation over time and geography.  Of those, 60% had heard about the Study from multiple sources.  Top sources of information included advance mailings (22%), billboards (17%), print media (16%), community events (15%), and television (10%).     

Implications:  Outreach strategies reached the majority of potential participants.  Advance mailings and billboards were the most effective strategies.

* Exact counts rounded to nearest 50 per N.I.H. disclosure rules for non-public use datasets.

 Funded by NIH/NIDDK/NICHD, HHSN267200700031C