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Table 3 Concerns connected to strategies, tools and methods—intrapersonal level

From: Engaging citizens living in vulnerable circumstances in research: a narrative review using a systematic search

Concern Suggested strategy Suggested tools and methods
Unfamiliarity with research [30, 42, 48, 60, 72, 75] and/or lack of confidence regarding joining a research project [25, 30, 39, 42, 48, 57, 58, 60, 68, 75] Recruit in familiar locations or via a familiar recruiter [4, 25, 26, 30, 41, 44, 48, 51, 53, 58, 59, 60, 63, 65, 71, 72, 79, 84] Use word-of-mouth recruitment by community (health) workers [3, 17, 26, 40, 47, 48, 51, 54, 59, 66, 67], community partners [30, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 48, 49, 59, 63, 68, 72, 79], family or friends [7, 65, 79, 84], bicultural researchers [54, 60, 71, 84], or someone from the network of the researcher [51, 68, 84]
Use snowball recruitment [41, 49, 51, 75]
Recruit at a place that people are familiar with [2, 4, 17, 23, 27, 43, 51, 71], e.g. church, CBO, school or playground, or the street, using culturally sensitive pamphlets [41, 65, 68, 75, 82]
Make use of local news on TV or radio [17, 23, 25, 30, 63, 68, 71, 75]
Build on the capacities and knowledge and empower those involved by offering easily accessible activities [47, 25, 48, 51] Storyboards [59, 60, 67]
Digital storytelling [48, 68]
Photo-voice methodology [2]
Theatre-related activities [25, 47]
Unstructured dialogue with creative components [47, 57, 65, 75]
Invite people to a familiar location [40, 47, 58, 72] Plan the meeting at a location that participants prefer [23, 27, 30, 39, 41, 61, 63, 68, 72, 79, 84], most often identified as a familiar place, such as a café-style environment, a church, a community centre, or their own home
Involve gatekeepers or CBOs to determine location [40, 47, 58, 72]
Create a less threatening environment [4, 30, 39, 42, 43, 47, 51, 53, 57, 59, 60, 65, 68, 71, 72, 79, 84] Build rapport by, for example, taking time to get to know each other [27, 42, 48, 63, 51], doing ice-breaker or team-building activities [42, 43, 53], or giving a warm welcome by offering tea and refreshments [71]
Surround people with others who are similar [41, 63, 67, 68, 72, 84] and involve (peer) researchers or community members with the same cultural background or lived experiences [4, 60]
Discuss (ethical) ground rules [3, 55, 63, 82]
Do not record the meetings [30, 60, 63]
Lack of willingness to be engaged [4, 14, 20, 21, 30, 33, 36] Think about the following question: What’s in it for them? [7, 25, 27, 30, 42, 43, 44, 54, 57, 60, 61, 63, 66, 72, 79, 82] Maintain time for social interaction and for the participants to get to know other people involved [25, 26, 30, 43, 60, 72, 79, 82]
Guarantee mutual learning [7, 26, 27, 30, 43, 57, 60, 61, 66, 72, 79]
Show that you consider suggestions [27, 39, 63]
Make sure people are being heard, and not only about the topic being discussed [82]
Guarantee that citizens have the opportunity to make (tangible) impacts [27, 43, 54, 60, 61, 66, 72, 82] or to help other community members [7, 25, 26, 30, 42, 43, 66, 72]
Recruit in familiar locations or via a familiar recruiter [4, 25, 26, 30, 41, 44, 48, 51, 53, 58, 59, 60, 63, 65, 71, 72, 79, 84] See above
Mistrust of research [2, 4, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22, 25, 28, 31, 33, 34, 36, 38] Involve a person who can act as a bridge between the researchers and the community to address mistrust [7, 17, 30, 48, 57, 60, 65, 79, 82, 84]  
Recruit in familiar locations or via a familiar recruiter [4, 25, 26, 30, 41, 44, 48, 51, 53, 58, 59, 60, 63, 65, 71, 72, 79, 84] See above; in addition:
Be transparent about the goals and objectives [30, 43, 63, 65, 82]
Address mistrust [7, 43, 54]
Poverty-related stressor [9, 10, 1, 34, 18, 33, 36, 30, 28, 2, 8, 14] Pay attention to people’s daily reality by planning the activities [20, 23, 26, 42, 48, 65, 36, 72] Accommodate (unexpected) changes in a schedule [20, 72]
Provide non-tangible incentives which support engagement [26, 52, 61, 72] Arrange child care [26, 30, 43, 52, 53, 57, 65]
Provide meals and/or refreshments [26, 30, 61, 79, 52, 72]
Offer services people cannot normally afford [61, 72]
Pay for public transport tickets upfront [39, 65, 52, 53, 57, 75]
Provide tangible incentives as appreciation [2, 20, 26, 30, 39, 40, 48, 51, 52, 65, 67, 68, 75, 79] Offer cash [26, 30, 47, 57, 79]
Offer gift cards or shopping vouchers [2, 7, 40, 52, 58, 63, 68, 71, 75, 82]
Language-related stressor: lack of proficiency in language of host country or limited literacy [1, 3, 12, 13, 16, 10, 17, 18, 20, 25, 28, 33, 34, 36, 37] Collect data and recruit in multiple languages [4, 23, 39, 41, 44, 47, 51, 52, 53, 60, 63, 65, 68, 71, 82, 84] Involve bilingual researchers [2, 4, 20, 26, 30, 47, 48, 51, 60, 71, 82, 84]
Involve translators [4, 20, 23, 44, 53, 60, 65, 66, 67, 68]
Provide information about the research in multiple languages (written and spoken) [3, 23, 30, 68, 84]
Allow verbal consent in multiple languages [39, 40, 63, 65, 67, 68, 84]
Create an environment in which language is less important [2, 43, 44, 47, 53, 58, 60, 65] Storyboards [30, 59, 60]
Drawings [51, 58] (Information world mapping approach [53]) or art [47]
Photovoice methodology [2]
Theatre-related activities or body mapping [25, 47]
Unstructured dialogue with creative components [47, 65, 68, 75] in which it is safe to speak [65]
  1. CBO community-based organization