Effectiveness of School Based Recruitment Procedures and Modular Data Collections

Rashid Ahmed, Scott T. Leatherdale, Steve R. Manske, Jessica Reid, Robin Burkhalter

Abstract


Purpose: The School Health Action, Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) is a school-based data collection and knowledge exchange system designed to improve the health of youth. This paper outlines the design of the SHAPES study, examines the impact of different school recruitment models on participation rates, and examines the impact of using two different research modules during data collection on the prevalence of core behaviours being measured. Methods: In total, 76 schools were recruited from seven health regions and data were collected using the SHAPES Tobacco (TM) and Physical Activity Modules (PAM). Results: It was found that school recruitment rates were higher when both the researchers and the health unit, worked together to recruit schools. Significant differences were found between students who completed the TM and students who completed the PAM with respect to body mass index, smoking susceptibility, the number of friends who smoke, and the number of active friends. Conclusions: This paper provides valuable real-world insight for future researchers interested in performing population-level school-based studies of youth risk behaviours. Our experience suggests that a modular approach to data collection is feasible and that recruitment rates are improved when researchers work in collaboration with health unit staff who have existing relationships with schools.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2010.231

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