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Recruitment and Field Sampling in the Ctepp North Carolina and Ohio Field Studies

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Abstract: Recruiting study participants is always a challenge for researchers. It is more of a challenge when researchers have to recruit participants for a study involving intrusive, burdensome data collection activities. In this presentation, we describe our recruitment strategies and data collection methods in the research study, Children=s Total Exposure to Persistent Pesticides and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants (CTEPP) study. This study was conducted in North Carolina (NC) and Ohio (OH) to investigate the exposures of preschool age children and their primary adult caregivers to pollutants commonly found in their daily environments. Participants were recruited from daycare centers and from the general population using a random digit dialing (RDD) method. Field recruitment and data collection began in February 2000 in NC and was completed in November 2001 in OH. A total of 257 children (130 in NC and 127 in OH) and their adult caregivers participated. Participant exposure data were collected over a 48-hr period. Sample media include food, beverages, drinking water, urine, indoor and outdoor air, hand wipes, indoor floor dust, play area soil, dislodgeable pesticide residues, smooth floor wipes, and food preparation surface wipes. Personal interviews by field staff were conducted with the adult caregiver and the daycare staff to collect additional exposure information. Children's activities during the 48-hr period were recorded by the adult caregiver and daycare staff in provided activity diaries. In addition, about 10% (N=26) of the children were videotaped for about two hours at home to supplement the activity diaries. Strategies for enhancing the response rates were based on previous EPA pilot studies. These strategies included: a recruitment plan tailored for the specific target population (i.e., daycare centers, working parents, non-working parents), letters of endorsement from childcare associations and state licensing agencies, a certificate of confidentiality, an introductory letter and study brochure, use of FedEx for delivering introductory letters, multiple follow-ups (telephone and personal visit), participant training, non-monetary incentives, and monetary incentives. Innovative solutions were used to overcome field sampling problems such as using a doghouse to protect outdoor air sampling equipment, a playpen to protect indoor air sampling equipment, and having participant orientations.

This work has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under contract no. 68-D-99-011 to Battelle. The abstract has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication.


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Citation:Lyu, C., N. K. Wilson, J. C. Chuang, J. Satola, and M. K. Morgan. Recruitment and Field Sampling in the Ctepp North Carolina and Ohio Field Studies. Presented at International Society of Exposure Analysis 2002 Conference, Vancouver, Canada, August 11-15, 2002.
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Human Exposure Analysis Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 08/11/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Children's Total Exposure to Persistent Pesticides and Other Persistent Organic Pollutants (Ctepp)
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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