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Table 3 Summary of themes of potential facilitators, barriers and strategies for engagement for the oldest old, older people from BME groups and older people living in deprived areas

From: Strategies to improve engagement of ‘hard to reach’ older people in research on health promotion: a systematic review

Oldest old   
Potential facilitators Potential barriers Strategies for engagement
 • family involvement (e.g. engaging with family carers)
 • flexible assessment (length and time of sessions)
 • trust
 • poor health
 • tiredness
 • unwillingness to engage in research on health promotion
 • lack of motivation
 • lack of support from family members
 • inaccessibility (lack of transport to research site, lack of facilities for in-home sessions)
 • recruitment via primary care by known and trusted professionals
 • respectful and empathic approach
 • shorter visits over several months
 • ongoing face-to-face and written contact
 • home visits
 • check participants status with their GP
Older people from BME groups   
Potential facilitators Potential barriers Strategies for engagement
 • cultural and ethnic aspects e.g. connections to the targeted community and matching participants and researchers by ethnicity
 • trust
 • personal benefits and benefits to participant’s family
 • social support from family, friends, staff and peers
 • having other priorities
 • lack of transportation
 • costs
 • poor health
 • lack of motivation
 • cultural and language barriers
 • lack of confidence
 • lack of knowledge
 • familiar location
 • word-of-mouth
 • information easy-to-read (bullet point format, photo of research team
 • introductory meetings
 • providing transportation
 • monetary incentives
 • friendly competitions
Older people in deprived areas   
Potential facilitators Potential barriers Strategies for engagement
 • encouragement by others
 • personal interest in participating
 • complimentary refreshments
 • poor health
 • inaccessibility
 • costs
 • lack of interest
 • offering adaptable approach according to participants’ needs
 • social relationships between participants and researchers to create comfortable environment
 • face-to-face contact