Lessons Learned and Strategies for Recruitment of Diverse, Low-income Patients into an Integrative Medical Group Visit Clinical Trial

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Center for Integrated Primary Care

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Health Psychology | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Primary Care | Psychiatry and Psychology


OBJECTIVE: Description of recruitment methods and lessons learned in a randomized controlled trial of underserved patients using an integrative medical group visits intervention.

METHODS: Comparison of the demographic characteristics of participants screened and consented to the study as well as description of recruitment methods used.

OUTCOME MEASURES: This paper examines the characteristics of patients who were eligible compared to those who were not, characteristics of patients at the different sites, and patient characteristics over time (by comparing various cohorts) based on our experiences recruiting underserved patients.

RESULTS: We screened 338 patients, with 205 (60.6%) meeting eligibility criteria and 159 patients randomized and consented. 133 patients were found ineligible, with the most common reasons being low depression scores (n=20), manic symptoms (n=20), and psychotic symptoms (n=19), and alcohol use (n=15). We found demographic differences in patients recruited by different methods and at different sites- patients referred by provider letter were older than those referred by self-referral or provider referral (mean age/SD vs. mean age/SD, p=0.0001). For site-specific differences, patients at DH were older (53 SD=12.3) than those at the Boston Medical Center (49 SD=11.3) and CSHC (p=0.048) in pair-wise comparisons. Patients at DH were also more likely to be white (25%) as compared to BMC (18%) and DH (7%), while those at CSHC were more likely to be black (70%) (p=0.008).


Integrative medicine, Recruitment, Underserved patients, Chronic pain

DOI of Published Version



Explore (NY). 2019 May - Jun;15(3):215-221. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2019.01.003. Epub 2019 Mar 7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Explore (New York, N.Y.)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID