Purpose: Effective strategies to recruit minority elders into health research (e.g., through churches, partnering with community gatekeepers) often involve nonrandom sampling methods. The current study has two aims: (a) to examine some new practices in recruitment of African American elders and (b) to determine the similarities and differences of the volunteers in the Healthier Black Elders (HBE) Participant Resource Pool (PRP), with a population-based community sample from the Detroit Health Needs Assessment (Chapleski, E. E. (2002). Facing the future: City of Detroit needs assessment). Detroit, MI: Wayne State University. Design and Methods: A community-based participatory research approach was used to establish the HBE as an educational and support program in Detroit and to use HBE to launch a research participant registry of older Black adults. Data were drawn from a community-based telephone survey of 723 older African American elders aged 60 years and older recruited into the PRP registry. Results: PRP participants had some differences from those in the Detroit Health Needs Assessment. These included that older women had a significantly higher participatory rate compared with their male counterparts. African American women in the PRP reported a modestly healthier life with less disability compared with their Detroit Health Needs Assessment counterparts, whereas for men, it was the reverse for chronic diseases. The PRP was able to attract a significantly higher percentage of older old compared with the population=based survey. Implications: Study findings suggest that the HBE approach of recruiting African American elders in health research appears effective and to have some unique strengths
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