Quantifying the recruitment challenges with couple-based interventions for cancer: Applications to early-stage breast cancer

Steffany J. Fredman, Donald H. Baucom, Tina M. Gremore, Angela M. Castellani, Theresa A. Kallman, Laura S. Porter, Jennifer S. Kirby, E. Claire Dees, Nancy Klauber-Demore, Jeffrey Peppercom, Lisa A. Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective: Despite mounting evidence supporting the use of psychosocial interventions to promote adaptation to cancer, enrolling participants into these interventions is challenging. This is particularly salient for couple-based interventions, and newer, more targeted recruitment strategies to increase enrollment are needed. However, there have been few published empirical studies focused specifically on recruitment-related variables associated with enrollment into these types of interventions. To better understand how to encourage participation in couple-based psychosocial interventions for cancer, we examined facilitating and impeding factors to enrollment into a couple-based intervention for women with early-stage breast cancer. Method: In this sample of 99 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, patient demographic variables and method of approaching eligible patients were examined as predictors of enrollment into a randomized controlled trial comparing couple-based relationship enhancement with treatment as usual. Results: Results indicated that women were more likely to enroll if they were contacted at home or at a follow-up medical appointment rather than when first diagnosed at a busy multidisciplinary clinic; they were also more likely to enroll the closer they lived to the research facility. Conclusions: In addition to decreasing participant burden, timing and setting of recruitment efforts may have important implications for enhancing participation rates in couple-based intervention studies for cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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