Organizational-Level Recruitment of Barbershops as Health Promotion Intervention Study Sites: Addressing Health Disparities Among Black Men

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Abstract

This article describes the process and results associated with the organizational-level recruitment of Black barbershops into Fitness in the Shop (FITShop), a 6-month barbershop-based intervention study designed to promote physical activity among Black men. Organizational-level recruitment activities included (1) a telephone call to prospective barbershop owners to assess their interest and eligibility for participation, (2) an organizational eligibility letter sent to all interested and eligible barbershops, (3) a visit to interested and eligible barbershops, where a culturally sensitive informational video was shown to barbershop owners to describe the study activities and share testimonies from trusted community stakeholders, and (4) a signed agreement with barbershop owners and barbers, which formalized the organizational partnership. Structured interviews were conducted with owners of a total of 14 enrolled barbershops, representing 30% of those determined to be eligible and interested. Most enrolled shops were located in urban settings and strip malls. Barbershop owners were motivated to enroll in the study based on commitment to their community, perceived client benefits, personal interest in physical activity, and a perception that the study had potential to make a positive impact on the barbershop and on reducing health disparities. Results offer important insights about recruiting barbershops into intervention trials.

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