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Table 1 Practicalities of the study and theoretical fit with RDS

From: Lessons learned from respondent-driven sampling recruitment in Nairobi: experiences from the field

Population Topic Issue Solution Fit with RDS Helped success
MSM and FSW Study site Need for confidential comfortable acceptable study site within budgetary constraints “Hide” study site in plain view at a public space that because of extensive foot traffic and nature of environment made KP invisible One study office reduces potential for duplicate enrollment that is a potential issue with multiple study sites Contributed to willingness of KP to participate thus obtaining sample size
MSM High socio-economic status (SES) MSM Concerted efforts made but it was difficult to recruit high SES MSM and FSW Conduct rigorous formative assessment to understand the context of high SES MSM
Determine disincentives to study participation and mitigate the risk associated with disclosure of sexual orientation/practice among high SES MSM
Potentially set up study site in acceptable high end area to serve high SES individuals
Ensures high SES subgroups are recruited Ensures participation of diverse population sub groups
Recruitment monitoring Weekly monitoring of respondent characteristics Use of NetDraw helped illustrate recruitment patterns Ensures recruitment flaws are addressed Helped identify recruitment gaps
IDU Study site Accessibility Provide transport from pick up points in specific neighborhoods Reduced need for multiple study sites Increased participation
Recruitment monitoring Weekly monitoring of respondent characteristics Use of NetDraw helped illustrate recruitment patterns Ensures recruitment gaps are filled Helped identify flaws recruitment gaps
FSW Coupons Too rapid sample accrual overwhelming site capacity Reduce number of coupons to one per recruiter Ensures balance to RDS recruitment chains Better penetration of study population
High SES FSW and those working in brothels We made efforts but failed to recruit high SES FSW and those working in brothels Conduct more rigorous formative assessment to understand the context of high SES FSW and those working in brothels Ensures high SES subgroups are recruited Ensures participation of more hidden population groups
Addressing unique needs of participants Being sensitive and understanding the needs of participants Provision of milk to children who accompanied their mothers and helping out with caring for children Potentially ensured participation of women who had children Increased participation
Recruitment monitoring Weekly monitoring of respondent characteristics Use of NetDraw helped illustrate recruitment patterns Ensures recruitment gaps are filled Ensures coupon issuance was controlled and recruitment gaps are filled