Rural Agricultural Workers and Factors Affecting Research Recruitment


  • Linda Prinz Northeast Community College
  • Margaret Kaiser University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Katherine L. Kaiser University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Susanna G. Von Essen University of Nebraska Medical Center



Health disparities exist in rural populations calling for more research in this area, yet rural research recruitment presents obstacles. The aim of this descriptive research was to describe a population of rural workers exposed to grain dust and to determine factors that influence recruitment of rural workers for research studies. This qualitative study involved 82 rural agricultural workers (RAW) in eastern Nebraska. After completing a demographic questionnaire these RAWs answered opened questions regarding factors that contributed to their decision to participate in the research study along with qualities that distinguish them from other occupations. Rural agricultural workers participated primarily because of the desire to know/learn, and altruism. Barriers to research participation included a dislike of the time consumed during research. Descriptors of self-identified characteristics included having unique environmental conditions, values and beliefs, skill set and capacity. Utilizing healthcare professionals with community connections was the key recruitment strategy for this study.