Challenges in recruitment to an epidemiological study of young Australian women: the Grollo-Ruzzene Foundation Young Women’s Health Study

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Objective: To describe the challenges in recruitment of a national sample of young Australian women for a study of their physical and psychological wellbeing. Methods: Women, aged 18 to 39 years, were invited by email to complete an online questionnaire and, if not using systemic hormones, pregnant or breast feeding, to provide a blood sample. Results: A total of 94,546 email invitations were sent. Follow-up of 1,000 randomly selected non-responders by text message recruited 15 additional women. Direct telephoning resulted in another 516 completed questionnaires from a further 3,614 randomly selected non-responders. In all, 6,986 women completed the questionnaire and blood samples were provided by 761 (20.6%) of 3,689 eligible participants. The study sample is similar to women within the target age range captured by the Australian Census for their state of residence in terms of age distribution, education, relationship status, employment and occupation. Conclusions: Recruitment, by predominantly electronic means, has achieved a large, representative study sample of young women recruited from the eastern states of Australia. Implications for public health: Recruitment of a representative study sample can be achieved in the absence of a high response rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • external validity
  • response rate
  • women’s health

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