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Recruitment in Chain Affiliated Establishments: Experiences from the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities
*Angela M Greene, RTI International (US) 
Abigail Moss, National Center for Health Statistics (US) 
Manisha Sengupta, National Center for Health Statistics (US) 
Sara Zuckerbraun, RTI International (US) 

Keywords: establishment surveys, chains, recruitment, gaining cooperation, response rates

It is becoming increasingly common for healthcare providers (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care providers) to belong to a chain, group, or multisystem organization. This affiliation can present unique data collection issues for researchers conducting surveys with these types of providers as well as in establishments that may be chain-affiliated. This paper summarizes experiences from a first-time nationally representative probability-based sample survey of residential care facilities conducted by the federal government: the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF). Approximately 40% of sampled facilities in this survey belonged to a chain. This paper describes the process of recruiting chain-affiliated facilities, including those facility directors (also referred to as administrators) who made their own decisions regarding survey participation and those who sought approval from some higher authorizing official within the chain but outside their specific facility. This paper also describes the procedures developed to address the situation when chain approval was required. It focuses on four key steps in the survey recruitment process: identify chain-affiliated facilities, gain cooperation of facilities, identify persons within the facility or its chain to approve survey participation, and gain cooperation of these individuals.