ANGI: A Look at Our Final Year of Recruitment
BY: Christopher Hilliard
DATE: September 7, 2015
The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative has entered its final year of recruitment. On behalf of those who work day-in and day-out on the study, I can say with confidence, it has all been a wild ride.
In the beginning, as we were just getting our feet wet, we began recruitment slowly. But as people began to hear about “ANGI”, our inbox began to fill with emails and the phones rang more frequently. After just a few months, we received a huge boost thanks to June Alexander – one of our colleagues in Australia who shared our study on her blog – and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), who shared our study in their newsletter. In the months that followed, we rode a wave of recruitment that took us well beyond our initial recruitment goals. In fact, we went so far beyond our initial goals that we had to set new ones!
To enable us to meet these new goals, we brought in new people, posted flyers all over UNC’s campus and the surrounding area, advertised in magazines and websites, wrote blog posts, attended conferences, distributed materials to care providers all over the country, and hired a mobile phlebotomy company to help participants provide a blood sample. When we began recruitment, we were only able to recruit women, but we promised to include men. Since then, we have kept that promise, and, at this point, we have had recruited men and women from all 50 of the United States of America. That’s right, all of them! The most common sentiment we hear from people is how enthusiastic they are to contribute to research on this devastating illness. People want to help in any way they can to put an end to the suffering anorexia nervosa causes.
This wouldn’t be much of an update without numbers, so here’s the latest breakdown:
Our teams in Australia and Sweden have recruited 1667 and 3006 individuals with a history of anorexia, respectively! In the United States, 946 individuals with a history of anorexia nervosa and 404 individuals without a history of an eating disorder have participated in ANGI.
Looking ahead, our goal for the United States is to have 1500 individuals with a history of anorexia and 1500 individuals without a history of an eating disorder participate in ANGI by July 2016. We know more people are out there, but we need your help! If you or someone you know is interested in participating in ANGI, please contact us!
Finally, we would like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to the study already. Without each of you, this study would not have been possible.