Recruitment and retention challenges of a mental health promotion intervention targeting small and medium enterprises

Angela Martin, Michelle Kilpatrick, Fiona Cocker, Kristy Sanderson, Jenn Scott, Paula Brough

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)


As a common but understudied work setting, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been identifi ed as a sector needing ‘special’ or ‘urgent’ attention in relation to occupational health research and practice (Cocker et al., Int J Mental Health Promot 1–18, 2013; Lindstrom, Social Prevent Med, 2004). However, they are known to be particularly challenging to engage in research, with owner/managers’ citing a lack of time to participate and a limited budget to implement programs (Eakin et al., Health Promot Pract 2(2):172–181, 2001). This chapter aims to highlight challenges associated with conducting occupational health intervention research with SMEs in relation to a specifi c mental health promotion intervention study, the Business in Mind Project. We focus on obstacles encountered in recruiting and retaining participants and propose related strategies to advance future research in this challenging but vital setting. Before discussing issues in study implementation, we provide a brief overview of the study but direct readers seeking a detailed account of the project rationale and design to the study protocol (Martin et al., BMC Public Health 9(239), 2009).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDerailed Organizational Interventions for Stress and Well-Being
Subtitle of host publicationConfessions of Failure and Solutions for Success
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9789401798679
ISBN (Print)9789401798662
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Engagement
  • Intervention evaluation
  • Mental health promotion
  • Recruitment
  • Small business
  • Workplace

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