Guidelines for research recruitment of underserved populations (EERC)

Yui Matsuda, Jada L. Brooks, Linda S. Beeber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose Despite concerted efforts to establish health equity, significant disparities persist. One roadblock to eliminating health disparities is the inadequate recruitment of underserved populations, which prevents researchers from creating culturally-tailored interventions. To further develop the science of recruitment, we argue that a systematic approach should be applied to research participant recruitment. Given the lack of practical and comprehensive recruitment conceptual frameworks or guidelines in the literature, the authors propose newly synthesized guidelines for research recruitment of underserved populations: EERC (evaluate, engage, reflect, and carefully match). Methods The EERC guidelines are delineated, and the application of these guidelines is illustrated through a study recently conducted by the authors. Results The guidelines consist of the following four components: 1. Evaluate the composition of the research team; 2. Engage fully with the community by working with key informants and cultural insiders; 3. Reflect the unique cultural characteristics of the community in the research conduct; and 4. Carefully use a matching technique. The application component of the article demonstrates concrete examples of how the guidelines can enhance research recruitment for an underserved population. Conclusion The authors intend these guidelines to be broadly applicable for research teams regardless of research design or characteristics of the underserved population. Application of these guidelines in nursing and health science will contribute to increasing research recruitment of underserved populations, with the goal of reducing health disparities and achieving health equity for all persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Nursing Research
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Community-based participatory research
  • Health equity
  • Nursing
  • Patient selection
  • Recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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