A recognized retention strategy for research involving marginalized populations is:
A) Use “social media” to maintain contact with subjects.
B) “Study newsletters” sent to all participants.
C) “Collateral contacts” such as family and friends.
D) “Collection Techniques” to skip trace persons lost to follow-up
The Correct Answer Is:
- C) “Collateral contacts” such as family and friends.
In research involving marginalized populations, it is essential to employ a retention strategy that not only ensures the continued participation of participants but also respects their unique needs and challenges. Option C, which involves using collateral contacts such as family and friends, is the most appropriate retention strategy for several reasons:
1. Trust and Rapport Building:
Marginalized populations often have a history of mistrust towards researchers and institutions due to past exploitative practices. Building trust is crucial in retaining their participation.
Collateral contacts, such as family and friends, are more likely to have pre-existing relationships and trust with the participants. They can vouch for the legitimacy and importance of the research, easing concerns and encouraging continued participation.
2. Overcoming Communication Barriers:
Marginalized populations may face communication barriers, including limited access to technology, low literacy rates, or language differences.
Using collateral contacts can help bridge these communication gaps. Family and friends can relay information, reminders, and updates to the participants in a way that is culturally sensitive and tailored to their specific needs.
3. Addressing Vulnerabilities:
Many marginalized populations, such as undocumented immigrants or individuals experiencing homelessness, may have heightened vulnerabilities. Their living situations may be unstable, making it challenging for researchers to maintain contact.
Collateral contacts can help researchers locate participants who may have moved or changed contact information. They can serve as intermediaries, providing updates and ensuring participants are aware of their rights and protections.
4. Ethical Considerations:
Maintaining the ethical standards of research is paramount when working with marginalized populations. Researchers have a responsibility to ensure the well-being and rights of participants.
Using collateral contacts is ethical because it respects participants’ autonomy and consent. Researchers do not intrude directly but work through trusted individuals chosen by the participants.
5. Cultural Sensitivity:
Marginalized populations often have unique cultural norms and traditions that shape their decision-making and interactions with researchers.
Collateral contacts, who are likely familiar with these cultural nuances, can communicate in ways that are culturally sensitive and respectful, reducing the risk of misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
Why the Other Options Are Not Correct:
A) Use “social media” to maintain contact with subjects:
Social media can be a useful tool for communication and engagement, but it may not be suitable for all marginalized populations.
Many marginalized individuals may not have access to social media or may be hesitant to engage with researchers through this medium due to privacy concerns.
Relying solely on social media can exclude those who are digitally excluded, undermining inclusivity.
B) “Study newsletters” sent to all participants:
While study newsletters can be an informative and organized way to provide updates, they may not be the most effective means of retaining marginalized populations.
Newsletters may not reach participants who have changed their contact information or moved, as is common among some marginalized groups.
Newsletters might also be seen as impersonal and disconnected from the participants’ lives, leading to disengagement.
D) “Collection Techniques” to skip trace persons lost to follow-up:
Skip tracing is a method used to locate individuals who have become hard to reach, typically for financial or legal purposes. It may not be appropriate or ethical in a research context, especially with marginalized populations.
Skip tracing involves invasive methods that can compromise participants’ privacy and autonomy.
It does not respect the principles of informed consent and ethical research conduct, potentially causing harm or mistrust among participants.
In conclusion, when conducting research involving marginalized populations, it is crucial to prioritize retention strategies that build trust, overcome communication barriers, address vulnerabilities, uphold ethical standards, and respect cultural sensitivity.
Collateral contacts, such as family and friends, are the most appropriate option for achieving these goals, while the other options may not effectively address the unique challenges and needs of marginalized populations. Researchers must always prioritize the well-being and dignity of their participants to conduct ethical and meaningful research.