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Utilizing a Social-Ecological Health Promotion Framework to Engage Diverse Populations for Recruitment in the All of Us Research Program


  • Bibiana M. Mancera
  • Angela Sy
  • Cynthia D. Williams
  • Margaret K. Hargreaves


In 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) All of Us Research Program announced a funding opportunity for community partners to “educate, motivate, and facilitate enrollment” of volunteers. In response to this opportunity, four institutions from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) formed the Precision Medicine Research (PreMeR) Diversity Consortium. This multi-institutional collaboration proposed to employ evidence-based best practices to engage, recruit, and retain diverse populations in the All of Us program. The PreMeR approach was premised on the notion that engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies in community and biomedical research must be viewed as community-engaged public health interventions and utilize the same theoretical principles and approaches. To that end, social influence theories were key in conceptualizing approaches to engaging diverse populations in research, as they helped PreMeR members better understand how people’s beliefs and opinions could be modified to effect change and lead to action (Stokols, 1996). PreMeR adopted the social-ecological model (SEM) for health promotion (Dahlberg & Krug, 2006) from Stokols (1996) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) models (Israel et al., 1998, 2005; Wallerstein & Duran, 2010) to guide proposed engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies. The processes of contextualizing engagement strategies across the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy spheres of influence necessitated the incorporation of multiple methods to reach diverse audiences. This article provides a model for applying a theory-driven approach to research engagement, recruitment, and retention.


community engagementhealth disparitiesprecision medicineparticipant recruitment
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 2
  • DOI: 10.54656/AZHH6032
  • Published on 29 Jul 2022