STAGE 5. Defining the action plan
What steps should be completed?
Step 1: Specify intervention actions
These strategies are used to raise awareness of the programme, invite people to participate and formalise registration (where necessary). An "informed consent" document is used in some interventions so that the population can express agreement to participate in the programme after receiving satisfactory information about it. This document usually contains information about the purpose of the intervention, its costs and benefits, and guarantees regarding protection of the confidentiality of personal data.
Recruitment strategies can be very diverse: personal visits, public presentations, meetings with the population, snowball strategies (one person informs another, who informs another and so on), sending emails, mobile phone messages, letters, advertisements on posters, pamphlets, advertisements in the press, radio, television, websites, etc.
Mass communication strategies tend to be less expensive and allow more people to be reached, although they are more uncertain when it comes to confirming how many people have received the information. On the other hand, personal strategies reach a smaller population but they enable the number of people who have received the information and their degree of interest to be verified.
When designing the recruitment strategy, the places where the recruitment processes will take place and the people responsible for carrying them out must be determined.
Strategies to encourage retention
These are the mechanisms that are used to motivate people to stay in the intervention. The reasons a person participates in an intervention may vary throughout the procedure and their motivation may decline, so it is wise to vary the type of retention strategy according to the stage of the intervention. For example, using incentives such as gift vouchers, at the beginning, and then strategies to demonstrate the improvements the person has made by participating in the intervention. It may sometimes be appropriate to formalise a commitment to stay and participate in the entire intervention, to be signed by the participants and those responsible for the intervention. This type of document usually includes information on the characteristics of the intervention and both parties’ expectations and commitments.
Strategies that can be used to motivate and therefore, to retain, the population that implements the intervention include training in intervention management or being given work-related benefits.