Clinical Trials

  • Success Stories

    Recruitment Success

    Recruitment Efforts Top 1,000 Participants for Genomic Research Project

    Genomics Study / Project: Control Cohort for Genomic and Gene Expression Studies

    David Glass, MD, PI
    Ardythe Morrow, PhD, PI
    Cindy Molloy, MD, Co-I
    Susan Thompson, PhD, Co-I
    Michael Spigarelli, MD, PhD, Co-I, project director
    Kacey Appel, RD; Wendy Bommer, RN; Anita Fritsch, RN – study coordinators
    Kristie Harper, medical assistant
    Jane Howie, marketing and recruiting coordinator

    This research project created a comprehensive genomic database to be used by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center investigators to further investigate the role of genetics in various disease processes. The database was created from a pool of community participants, selected in a regionally representative manner to ensure comparability to the population of patients within the catchment area of Cincinnati Children’s. Participants were requested to have a short physical examination and give a blood sample, a urine specimen and a small hair sample. A portion of each sample obtained will be used to generate high-density genotype and gene expression data for control purposes. Storage of the remainder of the specimens obtained will ensure long-term viability and allow additional analyses of genotyping and gene expression periodically.


    • Healthy children 
    • Ages 3 to17 years old


    This was a single-site research project funded by several divisions within the Departments of Pediatrics and Pediatric Surgery.


    The original goal of 1,020 research study participants was achieved in September 2010.

    Recruitment Tactics (with the support from the Office for Clinical and Translational Research):

    • Word of mouth – research staff asked participants to “tell a friend” and gave them extra flyers to hand out. (Word of mouth worked particularly well with the teen cohort through school and church.) 
    • Study flyers strategically posted on the Cincinnati Children’s research study boards and throughout the community 
    • Project information included in Research Studies at Cincinnati Children’s booklet – research study sampler 
    • CTO database of interested study participants queried by ZIP codes to recruit a balanced representation of Greater Cincinnati children 
    • Home school parent network accessed (via face-to-face and email word-of-mouth contact) 
    • Featured twice in Cincinnati Children’s Young and Healthy publication 
    • Grass-roots recruitment by disseminating study information through approximately 20 community organizations / opportunities including elementary schools (flyers sent home with children), health fairs, social service agencies, summer camps, a church and daycare organizations

    Recruitment Results and Observations 

    • The project cohorts were broken down into specific gender, age, race and income groups. The goal of 1,020 participants, reflecting a cross section of Greater Cincinnati, was met by successfully recruiting 83 percent Caucasians, 15 percent African-Americans, less than 2 percent with more than one race, and less than 1 percent Asians and other racial backgrounds. 
    • The African-American cohort completed enrollment first. This was attributed to the strategic placement of the project flyers throughout the community and word of mouth. 
    • The final 50 participants were the most difficult to recruit because they had to be a specific gender, age and race to fit the remaining openings in cohorts. 
    • Younger participants were sometimes more difficult to recruit because of parents’ reluctance to involve their children in a research study / project that required a blood sample.