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Recruitment and Retention in Intimate Partner Violence Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2003
77 pages
This document discusses recruitment and retention issues in intimate partner violence research.
Examination of previous studies on recruitment and retention issues in intimate partner violence show a wide array of recruitment strategies that have previously been employed. There is evidence that retention in research studies is influenced by many different factors, such as social or emotional vulnerability. Attrition in mandated batterer treatment programs is a serious concern for researchers examining treatment outcomes. Two types of attrition affect these treatment programs. The first is failing to follow through with a judge’s order to attend a batterer treatment program or attrition prior to entering the program The second type of attrition refers to the failure to complete the program or premature dropout, once treatment has begun. Retention in longitudinal studies involving intimate partner violence is also a challenge due to economically oppressed or unstable populations. Five case studies are presented, including an advocacy-based intervention study involving recently sheltered victims, and a study of women and children seeking services at a domestic violence shelter. These case studies illustrate successful recruitment and retention strategies in research involving intimate partner violence. A set of guiding principles for recruitment and retention in research involving intimate partner violence are presented, whether participants include victims, offenders, or children. A protocol should be developed for safety concerns in recruitment and participation in intimate partner violence research. Cultural competency for special groups should be developed among research staff. Partnerships with community agencies should be developed and maintained. Recruitment protocols that recognize participants’ immediate needs and priorities should be developed. Support should be provided for research participants, including payment for time, regular contact, and crisis services. A mechanism should be developed for assessing the secondary victimization and burnout of study personnel. Information concerning recruitment and retention should be routinely reported in published research studies. 75 references

Date Published: September 1, 2003