Journal Article

Visualizing community networks to recruit South Asian participants for interviews about bowel cancer screening


Background. South Asians make up the largest ethnic minority group in England and Wales.  Yet this group is underrepresented in some programmes to promote health, such as cancer screening.  A challenge to addressing such health disparities is the difficulty of recruiting South Asian communities to health research. Effective recruitment requires the development of participants’ knowledge about research and their trust.  Researchers also need to increase their cultural understanding and to think about how they will communicate information despite language barriers.  This article describes the use of an organogram, informed by social network analysis, to identify the community contacts likely to encourage participation of South Asian adults (aged 50 to 75 years) in interviews to identify the facilitators of home bowel cancer screening. Methods. We developed an organogram which represented the directional relationships between organizations and key informants against the level of recruitment success to visualize where networking engaged participants. Primary data were recruitment records (February 2019-March 2020). Results. The majority of participants were recruited from faith centres. The topic of bowel cancer was a barrier for some, but recruitment was more successful with the advocacy of leaders within the South Asian communities. Visualizing community networks helped the research team to understand where to concentrate time and resources for recruitment. Conclusions. The organizational chart was easy to maintain and demonstrated useful patterns in recruitment successes. Policy summary. An organogram can provide a practical tool to identify the best strategies and community contacts to engage South Asian participants in studies to inform policy on health promotion activities such as cancer screening. 

Attached files


Howcutt, Sarah J.
Saini, Pooja
Henshall, Cathy
Brett, Jo
Watson, Eila
Smith, Leslie A.

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Nursing


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-04-22

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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