Experiences with recruitment of marginalized groups in a Danish health promotion program: a document evaluation study

Marianne Rasmussen, Eva Kanstrup, Anne Rytter, Tine Mechlenborg Kristiansen, Carsten Kronborg Bak, Eva Kanstrup Poulsen

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    Studies have found that marginalized groups living in deprived neighborhoods are less likely to participate in health programs compared to the majority of society. This study evaluates recruitment approaches conducted during a national government-funded project in 12 deprived neighborhoods across Denmark between 2010 and 2014. The aim of this study was to understand how recruitment approaches could promote participation in health programs within deprived neighborhoods to reach marginalized groups.


    Documents from all 12 of the included municipalities were collected to conduct a document evaluation. The collected documents consisted of 1,500 pages of written material with 12 project descriptions, three midterm and 10 final evaluations. The collected data were analyzed through a qualitative content analysis.


    The results are based on the fact that only 10 municipalities have developed evaluations related to recruitment, and only three evaluations provided a description of which marginalized groups were recruited. Challenges related to recruitment consist of difficulties involving the target group, including general distrust, language barriers and a lack of ability to cope with new situations and strangers. Additional geographical challenges emerged, especially in rural areas. Positive experiences with recruitment approaches were mainly related to relationship building and trust building, especially through face-to-face contact and the project employees' presence in the neighborhood. Additionally, adjusting some of the interventions and the recruitment strategy increased participation.


    This study found that relation and trust between the residents and the project employees is an important factor in the recruitment of marginalized groups in deprived neighborhoods as well as adjusting the health interventions or recruitment strategy to the target groups. In future research, it is necessary to examine which recruitment approaches are effective under which circumstances to increase participation among marginalized groups.
    TidsskriftP L o S One
    Udgave nummer6
    Sider (fra-til)e0158079
    Antal sider13
    StatusUdgivet - jun. 2016


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