Challenges recruiting families with children at risk of anti-social behaviour into intervention trials: lessons from Helping Children Achieve (HCA) study

Milena Stateva, J Minton, Celia Beckett, Moira Doolan, Angeliki Kallitsoglou, Stephen Scott, Tamsin Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The Helping Children Achieve study is a randomised controlled trial designed to test the effectiveness of parenting interventions for children at risk of anti-social behaviour. The paper aims to examine the challenges in recruitment to the HCA trial.

Design/methodology/approach – The study is on-going and is being conducted at two sites: an inner city London borough and a city in the South West of England. In total, 395 participants consented to participate in the trial; 325 were assessed at baseline and 215 met the criteria and agreed to take part. Recruitment used population screens and referrals.

Findings – The screening procedure was more labour intensive but attracted greater numbers, including many parents who might not otherwise have sought help and included many families from disadvantaged backgrounds. The referrals included those with more serious problems and a higher proportion engaged with the service. Recruitment rates were lower in the London site due to ineligibility and greater difficulty in accessing schools. Retention in the two areas was similar.

Originality/value – The study provides data on recruitment challenges and lessons learned that could help formulate future policy regarding service delivery. Also of value is the finding that it is possible to conduct population screens in very deprived, multi-ethnic areas and to get high rates of return.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285 - 302
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Children's Services
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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