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Table 4 Participant engagement activities

From: Retaining participants in community-based health research: a case example on standardized planning and reporting

1. Referral to study team by health authorities
 – Collaborate with referral partners to obtain participant contact information, preferred modes and times of contact, consent for initial contact
 – Assign each participant to one field interviewer throughout the study, where possible
2. Initial contact (telephone)
 – Contact participant using study cell phone with text and email functions
 – Use different modes and times of contact and obtain three alternative contacts
 – Answer questions and offer flexibility in timing and location of interview
 – Provide 24-h reminders using preferred communication mode (e.g., text messages)
 – Enquire at each encounter if there is a change in contact information
 – Accommodate interview rescheduling
3. Baseline interview (in-person)
 – Establish rapport using effective communication techniques
 – Adopt a professional (neutral, non-judgmental) manner
 – Apply risk-mitigation training (interviewer safety)
 – Provide essential study materials outlining the research process and interview dates
 – Explain study purpose and confidentiality, answering questions and providing time to consider
 – Use visual aids to convey the type, length and timing of research interviews
 – Verify eligibility and obtain written informed consent
 – Verify contact information and alternative contacts
 – Use audio aids for survey items sensitive to reporting bias
 – Provide meaningful honoraria such as gift cards for local department stores
 – Collect information to facilitate rapport at follow-up interviews, such as preferred name