• recruit/retain participants;
  • prisoners;
  • public health;
  • health promotion/wellness behaviors


Correctional facilities are prime targets for nursing interventions to decrease health disparities, but challenges to post-release follow-up limit use of the longitudinal research designs needed to fully examine intervention effects. Using an adapted version of the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations, we determined predictors of 1-year post-release study retention and subsequent reenrollment an average of 3 years later in 88 mother and child dyads recruited from a state prison nursery. Predisposing characteristics and enabling factors emerged as strong predictors of loss to follow-up. Female research participants can be successfully retained years after release from a correctional facility. Understanding the barriers and facilitators to post-release follow-up supports the creation of theoretically informed strategies to retain formerly incarcerated populations. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:94–104, 2012