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Recruitment of Women in the National Children’s Study Initial Vanguard Study


Baker, Dean; Park, Christina H.; Sweeney, Carol; McCormack, Lacey; Durkin, Maureen; Brenner, Ruth; Dabelea, Dana; & Entwisle, Barbara (2014). Recruitment of Women in the National Children’s Study Initial Vanguard Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 179(11), 1366-1374. PMCID: PMC4036215


The initial Vanguard Study of the National Children's Study was conducted during 2009-2010 in 7 locations in the United States. A goal was to evaluate the feasibility and yield of a household-based sampling design to recruit pregnant women. A multistage area probability sampling design was used to identify study locations (generally, counties) that were subsequently divided into smaller geographical units, termed segments. Between 7 and 18 segments were selected in each location, and dwelling units within segments were listed. A household-based recruitment process was implemented, which included enumeration of households to identify age-eligible women, pregnancy screening to identify pregnant women eligible for immediate enrollment and nonpregnant women for telephone follow-up, and administration of informed consent to eligible women. After a recruitment period of 17-20 months, 67,181 (89%) households were enumerated, which identified 34,172 (88%) age-eligible women to whom the pregnancy screener was administered. Among those who completed the screener, 2,285 women became eligible for enrollment, of whom 1,399 (61%) enrolled. Although response rates were fairly high at initial contact and among pregnant women, the overall yield was lower than anticipated. In particular, telephone follow-up of nonpregnant women was not a practicable strategy for prospective recruitment of newly pregnant women.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Epidemiology


Baker, Dean
Park, Christina H.
Sweeney, Carol
McCormack, Lacey
Durkin, Maureen
Brenner, Ruth
Dabelea, Dana
Entwisle, Barbara