A cross-sectional survey of potential factors, motivations, and barriers influencing research participation and retention among people who use drugs in the rural USA

Angela T. Hetrick, April M. Young, Miriam R. Elman, Sarann Bielavitz, Rhonda L. Alexander, Morgan Brown, Elizabeth Needham Waddell, P. Todd Korthuis, Kathryn E. Lancaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Despite high morbidity and mortality among people who use drugs (PWUD) in rural America, most research is conducted within urban areas. Our objective was to describe influencing factors, motivations, and barriers to research participation and retention among rural PWUD. Methods: We recruited 255 eligible participants from community outreach and community-based, epidemiologic research cohorts from April to July 2019 to participate in a cross-sectional survey. Eligible participants reported opioid or injection drug use to get high within 30 days and resided in high-needs rural counties in Oregon, Kentucky, and Ohio. We aggregated response rankings to identify salient influences, motivations, and barriers. We estimated prevalence ratios to assess for gender, preferred drug use, and geographic differences using log-binomial models. Results: Most participants were male (55%) and preferred methamphetamine (36%) over heroin (35%). Participants reported confidentiality, amount of financial compensation, and time required as primary influential factors for research participation. Primary motivations for participation include financial compensation, free HIV/HCV testing, and contribution to research. Changed or false participant contact information and transportation are principal barriers to retention. Respondents who prefer methamphetamines over heroin reported being influenced by the purpose and use of their information (PR = 1.12; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.26). Females and Oregonians (versus Appalachians) reported knowing and wanting to help the research team as participation motivation (PR = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.09, 2.26 and PR = 2.12; 95% CI: 1.51, 2.99). Conclusions: Beyond financial compensation, researchers should emphasize confidentiality, offer testing and linkage with care, use several contact methods, aid transportation, and accommodate demographic differences to improve research participation and retention among rural PWUD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number948
JournalTrials
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Injection drug use
  • Opioid
  • Participant retention
  • Recruitment
  • Rural
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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