Purpose: There is increased interest in developing and disseminating health behavior interventions for cancer survivors. Challenges in these efforts include participant burden in traveling to central intervention sites and sustainability. The purpose of this article is to report various methods used to recruit breast cancer survivors into an exercise intervention that attempts to address both of these challenges.
Methods: Letters were mailed within specific zip codes near community-based intervention sites in cooperation with state cancer registries. Additional recruitment methods included flyers at breast care clinics and support groups, mass media, and conferences.
Results: Of the 3200 women who responded, 82% (n = 2625) identified having heard about the study through state or hospital registry and 8% (n = 243) through print and broadcast media. Thirty-five percent (n = 103) of randomized women self-identified as having a minority racial background and 31.9% (n = 94) self-identified as African American. Comparisons of participant age and racial distribution to state cancer registries indicate similar age distribution but greater racial diversity among participants.
Conclusion: These results support the use of population-based cancer registries to recruit survivors into community-based interventions and clinical trials.