Recruitment Strategies Implemented Across a Four-State Lifestyle Intervention: Get Fruved Study

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Objective: The objective of the ‘Get Fruved’ research project was to enroll college students from four universities into two courses. This community based participatory research (CBPR) multi-university, peer-led, social marketing and environmental intervention is aimed at improving healthful lifestyles (primarily focused on diet, stress management and physical activity) and changing campus environments to promote obesity prevention with older adolescent populations (students entering their first year of college). The four intervention universities (FL, SD, TN, and WV) attempted to recruit 30 social marketing and environmental intervention (SMEI) students, 50 peer mentors (PM), and student researchers per state (minimum of 320 students) over 5 months (August-December 2015). Recruitment strategies included: emails, student digital announcements, talking with administrators, speaking in classes, informational booths, chalking sidewalks, flyers posted around campus in high traffic areas and word of mouth. Strategies for each state were logged weekly. The recruited students became 4-H collegiate members and took a 3-credit hour (SMEI) or a 1-credit hour (PM) multi-university course, and/or assisted with research. In these courses the students developed the intervention using a CBPR approach in collaboration with researchers and Extension Professionals. The baseline characteristics of the recruited SMEI, PM, and student researchers were assessed using demographic and behavior surveys and anthropometric data was collected. Weekly recruitment strategy logs were analyzed and states were found to have similar approaches. SMEI course (total of 74) signed up and 240 for the PM course. Approximately 60 undergraduate researchers, 40 graduate researchers, and 10 Doctoral students were recruited to work on the project as student researchers. Only 280 participants completed the survey process. Demographics between SMEI, PM, and student researchers across states were found to be statistically similar. Participants (N=280) were predominately Caucasian (84.4%) and female (87.89%), and 75.3% were 18–20 year olds. Most participants were sophomores (39.84%) followed by juniors (34.38%), freshmen (18.75%) and one graduate student (0.39%). Recruitment strategies resulted in a sample that exceeded minimum goals for PM but fell short for SMEI. Using a CBPR approach to develop partnerships with motivated students was essential to effectively plan and execute an intervention to promote healthful lifestyles on these college campuses that may help to prevent the development of obesity.

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The FASEB Journal



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Abstract Number: 674.37

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