Challenges in recruiting hard-to-reach populations focusing on Latin American recent immigrants Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Purpose – Recruiting immigrant populations, particularly recent arrivals, is challenging due to lack of sampling frames and other factors. The purpose of this paper is to report the feasibility of using a quasi-random sampling strategy for recruiting recent Latin American (LA) immigrants. Design/methodology/approach – The initial recruitment strategy included random selection of two census tracts (CTs) with high concentrations and numbers of recent LAs in Toronto, and door-to-door recruitment. Based on challenges encountered this strategy was modified by consulting trusted community members and recruiting participants residing in selected CTs using cultural venues. Findings – Door-to-door recruitment of the target group is difficult. Challenges included accessing individuals living in apartment buildings, lack of trust and fear of deportation, transitory residency, and difficulty recruiting very recent arrivals. The modified strategy was more efficient and yielded higher recruitment rates, and was more acceptable to participants. Research limitations/implications – The limited timeframe of the study and lack of timely census data may have prevented full exploration of study methodologies. Originality/value – The study demonstrated that recruitment rates of recent immigrants and refugees can be improved by randomly selecting CTs with high concentrations and numbers of recent immigrants and using culturally appropriate recruitment strategies. These groups may not be homogeneously distributed in selected geographic areas (e.g. CTs); it may be necessary to focus on pockets of high concentration as identified by community members who are familiar with the area.

publication date

  • March 16, 2015