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There is little documentation about the recruitment process for church-based health education programs. In this study, the authors recruit African American, Latino, and white churches and women members (age 50 to 80) for a randomized church-based trial of mammography promotion in Los Angeles County. Efforts to enhance recruitment began 10 months before churches were invited to participate and included a variety of community-based strategies. Subsequently, 45 churches were recruited over a 5-month period through group pastor breakfast meetings and church-specific follow-up. In close collaboration with the 45 churches, the authors administered church-based surveys over 6 months and identified 1,967 age-eligible women who agreed to be contacted by the program team. It was found that an extended resource intensive period of relationship-building and community-based activities were necessary to conduct church-based programs effectively, particularly among older and ethnically diverse urban populations.

Originally published in: Health Education & Behavior, v. 27, no. 5, October 2000, pp. 632-648.

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