Recruitment and retention of adolescents for an ecological momentary assessment measurement burst mental health study: The MHIM engagement strategy

Aja L. Murray*, Tong Xie, Luke Power, Lucy Condon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Introduction: Recruitment and long-term retention of adolescent participants in longitudinal research are challenging and may be especially so in studies involving remote measurement and biosampling components. The ability to effectively recruit and retain participants can be supported by the use of specific evidence-based engagement strategies that are built in from the earliest stages. Methods: Informed by a review of the evidence on effective engagement strategies and consultations with adolescents (via two Young Person Advisory Groups [YPAGs]; ages 11–13 and 14–17), the current protocol describes the planned participant engagement strategy for the Mental Health in the Moment Study: a multimodal measurement burst study of adolescent mental health across ages 11–19. Results: The protocol incorporates engagement strategies in four key domains: consultations/co-design with the target population, incentives, relationship-building and burden/barrier reduction. In addition to describing general engagement strategies in longitudinal studies, we also discuss specific concerns regarding engagement in data collection methods such as biosampling and ecological momentary assessment where a paucity of evidence exists. Conclusion: Engagement strategies for adolescent mental health studies should be based on existing evidence and consultations with adolescents. We present our approach in developing the planned engagement strategies and also discuss limitations and future directions in engaging adolescents in longitudinal research. Patient or Public Contribution: The study design for this project places a strong emphasis on the active engagement of adolescents throughout its development. Specifically, the feedback and suggestions provided by the YPAGs have been instrumental in refining our strategies for maximising the recruitment and retention of participants.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14065
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • adolescent
  • attrition
  • ecological momentary assessment
  • longitudinal
  • measurement burst
  • retention


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